A government inquiry into the rejection of a contentious £269million road project will be held in December.

Back in July, Oxfordshire County Council’s planning committee voted against approving the HIF1 Didcot project.

This was despite recommendations from planning officers that it should be approved.

READ MORE: Dozens of square metres of open land developed on in Oxfordshire

The HIF1 proposals include building a dual carriageway on the A4130 from the A34 Milton Interchange towards Didcot, new bridges, and a Clifton Hampden bypass.

A week after it was rejected, the decision was called in by levelling up secretary, Michael Gove.

At the inquiry, there will be a review by the government-appointed planning inspectorate and the Secretary of State will take the final decision about whether to approve the application.

Councillor Duncan Enright, cabinet member for travel and development Strategy at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “As a council, we are committed to the Didcot and surrounding areas major infrastructure scheme.

“We are taking stock of the planning committee’s comments and reasons before considering our own next steps.

“The scheme is designed to provide more sustainable travel options in and around Didcot, as well as reducing a legacy of congestion in the surrounding villages and improving air quality and noise levels.

Oxford Mail: Councillor Duncan Enright Councillor Duncan Enright

“It would provide vital transport infrastructure to enable more reliable journey times, improve pedestrian and cycling connectivity, and support allocated housing and employment sites.”

All evidence must be submitted by early November, before the eight day inquiry begins on December 5.

The proposals were discussed by the planning committee for two full days.

Seven committee members voted against the scheme while just two were in favour.

Many concerns have been raised about the HIF1 scheme, including that it is “financially risky and climate-wrecking.”

The committee’s reasons for refusal were less about the principle of the scheme and more about its details.

A particular focus was on the outdated traffic modelling data, which used figures from 2016/17 and did not consider the traffic impact on Abingdon or Nuneham Courtenay.

READ MORE: Railway line blocked due to trespassers on tracks

There were also questions over the detailed design of the bridges included in the plans, including the major bridge over the River Thames near Culham.

Further issues were raised about the impact on noise pollution, air quality, and climate change, as well as if there was enough mitigation for the loss of trees.

Sam Casey-Rerhaye is a parish councillor for Culham, near where one of the bridges would have been built. 

She said: "I'm very pleased as I thought it was the wrong plan for the situation we're in with the climate emergency. 

"Now it's about going back to the drawing board."