A COUNTY councillor is furious he and other colleagues will not get the chance to formally oppose planned growth and the Oxford-Cambridge expressway until August.

Tim Bearder, the Liberal Democrat councillor for Wheatley, said planned growth in Oxfordshire as part of Government housing plans is 'ludicrous'.

He also accused ministers of trying to stall discussion on potentially damaging development in the Oxford-Cambridge arc.

In February, the council's leader Ian Hudspeth and cabinet member for environment, Yvonne Constance, wrote to the local government secretary James Brokenshire, demanding more consultation over the proposed expressway.

They only received a reply on Tuesday.

Mr Bearder said: "Oxfordshire's portion of that calamitous growth would be about 300,000 houses. That would represent a doubling in the size of the county."

He added: "It took months to get this reply and now comes conveniently too late for opposition councillors to table a motion at council next week. We then don't sit in August.

"Given our request that residents are consulted before and route is considered is clearly being ignored I would urge all my colleagues to come out now and state their opposition to this appalling and unnecessary project."

In his letter, housing minister Kit Malthouse said: "The Government is committed to delivering the Oxfordshire-Cambridge expressway and recognises the importance of consulting with local communities on this scheme."

Mr Malthouse added: "Highways England is currently developing a range of route options for public consultation in autumn this year.

"This consultation will provide opportunity to comment on specific route options and on the overall case for the scheme."