COUNCILLORS and residents booed and shouted that a minister was acting like a ‘dictator’ after an authority said it was stopped talking about a critical plan.

South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) had been due to scrap its Local Plan, which includes outlines for a new 28,500 homes, at a meeting on Thursday.

But on Wednesday night, communities secretary Robert Jenrick told the council that he was considering whether he could take over the plan himself.

The government wants to build 100,000 homes in Oxfordshire before the mid-2030s and agreed with councils in March 2018 to do so.

But following elections in May, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse councils’ composition changed considerably.

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Liberal Democrats and Greens in South Oxfordshire say the current plan contains too many new homes in their district.

In a statement, SODC's leader Sue Cooper said Mr Jenrick's decision was 'an unacceptable intervention of national government into local democracy'.

She added councillors had been 'unfairly silenced' after the council's chief executive Mark Stone said it had not been told it could discuss the Local Plan by government on Thursday.

But Mrs Cooper said councillors 'remain committed to doing the right thing for the needs of residents and communities within our district.'

She added: "Throughout this process, we have taken a reasonable and responsible approach and will continue to do so."

There is no indication for when the plan might be discussed again.