WORK on the South Oxfordshire Local Plan began six years ago in 2014.

The now-adopted Plan sets out where thousands of new homes can be built in the district.

Work on the plan began under the last council administration, which had a ruling Conservative group.

The council was tasked with finding room to meet the needs of South Oxfordshire’s population and also helping to build homes which Oxford could not find room for within its own boundaries.

In 2018, divisions began to develop within the ruling Conservative group.

Then-leader John Cotton resigned his post as local party chief over disagreements due to the plan.

And after a split in the party over the housebuilding plans, seven councillors who voted against it were suspended, many of which chose not to stand again for election.

The Greens and Lib Dems came to power after local elections in 2019, having campaigned on a manifesto promise to scrap the Plan and start again.

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Their election victory may have been helped by national opinion over Brexit at the time.

But when in power, the new administration found it difficult to make the changes.

As they began a debate to scrap the plan last November, a last minute letter from the Government told them they had to stop.

The council received another letter in February, telling it to adopt the plan by December.

Since then, councillors have been forbidden from speaking about the plan.