Green Belt campaigners said political commentator Rod Liddle was being ‘ridiculous’ and ‘unhelpful’ by suggesting that Oxfordshire could be ‘concreted over’ to help with the demand for new homes.

Mr Liddle was responding to Chancellor Philip Hammond’s budget, in which he announced an agreement with the Oxfordshire Growth Board that would see 100,000 homes built by 2031.

Controversial plans to build near Kidlington and next to Grenoble Road south of Oxford are now more likely to go ahead, and the National Infrastructure Commission, backed by the Government, wants one million homes built on the Oxford to Cambridge corridor by 2050.

Mr Liddle said in his Sunday Times column: “I have never been taken by Oxfordshire, an indeterminate county of blank and vast fields, the vaguest suggestion of a rather limp chalk downland scoured by expensively imported red kites and mimsy-coloured cottages inhabited, in the main, by affluent and flatulent remainer bores.”

The writer added that Oxfordshire was ‘marginally better’ than Surrey but he had never got the appeal of Oxfordshire, still less Oxford.

Mr Liddle said he should be delighted that the Government ‘has decided to pave over the entire county to build a million cheap and hideous homes for foreign people’.

Jonathan Bacon, of the Save Culham Green Belt campaign, said Mr Liddle’s comments were ‘ridiculous’ and ‘unhelpful’.

The father-of-three and fellow campaigners are opposed to the construction of about 3,500 homes around Culham near Abingdon.

Mr Bacon said: “This is a ridiculous thing to say. Everyone knows more homes need to be built but there are swathes of brownfield sites that could be built on first before the Green Belt is touched.

“Mr Liddle is not making a useful contribution to the debate.”

Giles Lewis, the leader of the Begbroke and Yarnton Green Belt campaign, is opposing Cherwell District Council’s plan to build 4,000 new homes in the area.

He added: “Mr Liddle is being provocative – Oxfordshire is an affluent county, flatulent I can’t comment on.

“We need affordable housing – and building homes on the Green Belt won’t achieve that – they will be high-priced because of the high cost of the land.

“Mr Liddle is making a link between levels of immigration and the demand for homes but I’m not sure that is the same demand that would be purchasing expensive Green Belt housing around Oxford.”

Fellow columnist Jeremy Clarkson, who lives near Chipping Norton, also took the opportunity to criticise Oxford.

He said it was a 'weird city, full of artisan cafes selling bread with mud in it'.