AN Oxfordshire MP has criticised his local council's decision to rewrite an important planning document.

John Howell, Conservative MP for Henley, wrote an update on South Oxfordshire District Council's Local Plan to his constituents in his most recent newsletter.

In the update, Mr Howell said he thought SODC would be willing to allow its Local Plan to be examined by government inspectors to make sure it was legally sound.

Mr Howell wrote: "The solution to the issue of what happens to the South Oxfordshire Local Plan lies, as it always has done, with SODC."

He added the council should have followed his advice to make changes to the plan during a public examination.

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Mr Howell said "It now looks as if SODC is at last going to take that advice and is gearing up to do so. An examination is the place where issues such as those over the green belt and whether its use is appropriate and proportionate can be resolved."

He added: "Contrary to the enormous political posturing which is going on this issue, one cannot gerrymander democracy. Many of the other Local Plans produced by District Councils in Oxfordshire have already been through the democratic process and this is likely to be compromised by the actions of SODC."

A Local Plan is a document which sets out where and how many homes and other buildings can be built in an area, usually over a 15 year period of time.

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SODC seemed likely to vote to scrap its Local Plan in October last year, over fears too many homes were going to be built, and in areas of untouched countryside.

The government stepped in and stopped the council discussing it.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has said he is 'minded' to hand control of the plan over to Oxfordshire County Council.

Residents and members of the Green-Lib Dem district council have described this as undemocratic.

They have said it would be ignoring the May 2019 local elections vote, when the new council was brought in on a platform of scrapping the plan.