A SCHEME for thousands of new homes at Grenoble Road, south of Oxford, is expected to be ruled out in a Local Plan.

For 18 years Oxford City Council has wanted to build the homes on the Green Belt land but South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority for the site, has not allowed the homes to be built.

SODC’s Local Plan running to 2033, which sets out where new homes should be built, is due to be completed, ready for inspection by the Government.

But it will not include an option for homes to be built at Grenoble Road, preferring instead to earmark land at Chalgrove Airfield for a 3,500-home strategic site.

SODC leader, John Cotton, said: “In the short term Grenoble Road is not a favoured site.”

Last year plans for 3,500 homes in a ‘science village’ on Green Belt land off Grenoble Road were announced.

The scheme would include further expansion of Oxford Science Park, as well as a primary school, university training college, sports facilities and a new park-and-ride.

The proposal has been put forward by the city council, with fellow landowners Magdalen College and Thames Water, to address the city’s ‘unmet need’ of about 15,000 homes.

Former city council leader Bob Price said the council would not alter its plans.

He added: “We are pursuing this with our partners Magdalen College and Thames Water and we shall carry on.

“Grenoble Road is going to be a matter for decision by the Local Plan inquiry for SODC. We shall be submitting our proposal then and a planning inspector will decide.”

Mr Cotton added: “Grenoble Road is in the Green Belt and that counts against it – it should be a point of last resort.

“Chalgrove is not in the Green Belt and public ownership means value can be derived in order to invest in infrastructure, bypasses and schools.

“We will of course continue discussions with the new city council leader, Susan Brown.

“But the presence of a sewerage works and pylons at Grenoble Road would make it difficult to develop.”

Mr Cotton said the Local Plan would be submitted at the end of March, with the council several weeks behind schedule as it has been analysing consultation responses from members of the public.

Once the Local Plan is complete it will be submitted for independent examination to the Government. A Planning Inspector will then be appointed to carry out an Independent Examination. At this point the city council will contest the decision not to include Grenoble Road.