A COUNCIL runs the risk of losing the right to run a planning programme to the government if it doesn’t adopt it soon, a report says.

The second part of Vale of White Horse District Council’s Local Plan is still yet to be adopted – but officers have warned that could spell trouble.

A planning inspector said in June that the second part of the plan – which includes building 1,200 homes at Dalton Barracks – is justified.

At the time, its new leader, Liberal Democrat Emily Smith, said the authority needed to ‘consider its options’.

The homes are controversial because they have been allocated as part of Oxford’s unmet housing need. Critics believe the city’s unmet need of thousands of homes has been either exaggerated or does not exist.

READ MORE: Dalton Barracks housing plan by Vale of White Horse council backed by inspector

A council report says adopting the second part as planned would ensure government funding can be provided.

Not adopting the plan would leave it at the risk of speculative development and potentially the government intervention.

Vale’s report states: “This intervention would seek to instruct the council to follow a course of action set by the secretary of state [for housing, communities and local government] in the form of a direction.”

It is understood the council, despite misgivings, feels they have no option but to continue with the Local Plan.

READ MORE: Councillors decide on new Local Plan recommendation

Any delay could mean a plan would be adopted by 2023. Developing a new one could cost an estimated £3m. Vale has spent about £1.8m on its Local Plan.

Elsewhere, Homes England said it has bought land next to Chalgrove Airfield, where it wants to controversially build thousands of homes.

They have provisionally been included in South Oxfordshire District Council's Local Plan – but councillors have yet to decide whether to adopt that either.

The airfield has been problematic for Homes England because ejector seat firm Martin-Baker have pledged to resist any plan to be moved off it.

Ken Glendinning, Homes England's head of strategic land, said: “We have bought 467 acres of land to the north of Chalgrove Airfield to provide flexibility for the high quality housing and employment uses identified in our masterplan. This supports our plans for a new, sustainable 21st century market town.”