ONLY sustainable growth that is ‘planned and managed’ will be supported by Oxfordshire councils, its leaders said.

Despite recent concerns it could collapse, Oxfordshire’s authorities agreed to take part in the county’s £215m Housing and Growth Deal last year.

But growth should ‘not be at any cost,’ leaders said in papers written in March but released this week.

The Oxfordshire Growth Board, headed by council leaders, has also published a map of all potential sites that would be taken out of the Green Belt under current proposals.

They include Grenoble Road, south of Oxford. Other controversial projects include those in Culham and Berinsfield in South Oxfordshire and plans for 4,400 homes near Kidlington.

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Overall, just over one per cent of the Green Belt around Oxford would be developed.

The tone of the next Growth Board meeting, to be held on June 4, will be very different to the one held before this month’s local elections in March.

It will be chaired by a Liberal Democrat, Sue Cooper, the leader of South Oxfordshire District Council. Fellow new Lib Dem leader Emily Smith, who leads Vale of White Horse District Council, will join her.

It means half of the board’s members will not be Conservatives for the first time.

Susan Brown, the Labour leader of Oxford City Council, is the board’s other non-Conservative.

At the start of the month, Conservative council leaders held five of the six seats. South Oxfordshire’s former leader Jane Murphy remains a Conservative councillor having held her seat in Cholsey while Vale’s former leader Roger Cox retired.

In March, the Growth Board said: “The board is clear it does not support growth at any cost.

“We want good growth that’s planned and managed at a sustainable level and that protects and enhances the environment, including Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and other designations.”

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But Oxford Friends of the Earth and 10 other groups said proceeding with its Oxfordshire 2050 plan with no explicit climate change policies would be a‘denial’.

Oxford FOE’s Chris Church said: “Our councils say they take climate change very seriously. But this Plan shows no sign of this.”