ANOTHER two councils’ cabinets have said that they are in favour of taking the £215m promised last year by Government as part of the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.

South Oxfordshire District Council and Oxfordshire County Council both gave the plan their backing at meetings yesterday.

Ahead of the county council approving its part of the deal, its leader, Ian Hudspeth said: “This is a really tremendous stage to get to, where we are signing up to this deal.

"It’s taken an awful lot of hard work.

“We’ve got five councils wanting their perspective on planning then we’ve got ours and we have to come to agreement with the Government, which obviously wants their perspective on it.”

"This is really good news for Oxfordshire.

"If you look at the local plans, there are already about 96,000 houses in them up until 2031.

"So the expectation is that those 96,000 houses would be built anyway.

"This gives the opportunity for additional funds, £215m coming in first of all.”

It follows Vale of White Horse District Council’s cabinet approving the bid on Friday.

John Cotton, the leader of the South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “To be frank, if you look at where we were six or seven months ago, we’ve probably got nearly everything we wanted.”

He added: “The money is a lot less than was being talked about in September. I can’t remember the figure at the time but it was certainly in the billions, so it’s a somewhat smaller sum.”

As part of the ‘down payment’, as Chancellor Philip Hammond referred to the bid in his Budget last November, £60m will be given to the councils for affordable housing, with another £150m for infrastructure improvements.

Another £5m will be spent on planning.

Further to all the cabinets agreeing the plans, all must then be passed by Oxfordshire councils at a later date.