A COUNCIL left without a say over where new homes and businesses can be built in its area has written to the government requesting face-to-face meetings.

South Oxfordshire District Council has replied to housing minister Robert Jenrick, who wrote to the authority earlier this month with an ultimatum about its local plan.

In a letter sent on Tuesday, January 7, Mr Jenrick said he considered SODC to be without a local plan because of the suspension, and asked the council to explain why before January 31.

He added he was considering giving another authority power over where homes could be built in South Oxfordshire, like the county council.

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But in the letter sent on Friday, council leader Sue Cooper said she wants to seek a 'pragmatic way forward' by meeting with Mr Jenrick instead of exchanging letters.

Ms Cooper argued that the council's Core Strategy adopted in 2012 meant there was planning guidance in place until 2027.

The new local plan would provide planning guidance until 2034.

The council leader, who chairs a coalition of Green and Lib Dem councillors, argued that the local plan, prepared by the former Tory administration, was not sustainable and did not address the climate crisis.

In her letter she said residents were unhappy with the plan to build 32,600 new homes in South Oxfordshire, which went far beyond the need for homes in the area, calculated as 22,800.

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Ms Cooper said: "I continue to seek a pragmatic way forward which results in the temporary direction being lifted and full planning powers regarding [the local plan] being restored to the district, avoiding a dangerous precedent and the undermining of local democracy."

SODC seemed ready to throw out the plan in October and write a new one, but Mr Jenrick stepped in and suspended the council's ability to talk about it.