The public inquiry into a multi-million-pound infrastructure plan for Didcot has formally concluded with its future set to be determined.

Following 21 days over a 12-week period, the public inquiry into the £269 million HIF1 scheme proposal, which would see a new dual carriageway created, has ended.

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.

Closing statements relating to the planning application submitted by Oxfordshire County Council were heard last month on April 23.

The inquiry then continued until May 10 with evidence and statements given on the compulsory purchase and side roads orders.

Ten days were then given for all remaining documents to be submitted to the inspector.

On Monday, May 20 the inspector wrote to all relevant parties and remaining objectors to officially notify them that the inquiry had formally concluded.

The inspector now begins the process of drafting reports to the relevant secretaries of state.

The secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, Michael Gove, will determine the planning element; the secretary of state for transport, Mark Harper, will determine the CPO element.

Oxfordshire County Council confirmed there is “no specific deadline” with a timetable to be determined between the inspector and the two secretaries of state.

It can take between six – 12 months before a decision is announced.

The county council has been planning the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF1) scheme for almost a decade.

In July 2023, Mr Gove called in the planning application after the county council's planning committee refused it - despite recommendations from officers that it should be approved.

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

They pointed to outdated traffic modelling data, which used figures from 2016/17, and questioned the detailed design of the proposed bridges.

Oxfordshire Roads Action Alliance (ORAA), six affected parish councils and Planning Oxfordshire's Environment and Transport Sustainably (POETS)  expert group of planners are fighting the scheme which has divided opinion.

Labour’s candidate to fight the next General Election in Didcot, district councillor Mocky Khan believes the town has been “neglected for far too long” and HIFW will “go a small way to remedy this negligence”.

He said: “I am keen for the outcome from the HIF1 enquiry to be positive so that funding and the infrastructure needed for Didcot and surrounding areas is delivered.

“Houses are being built at a rapid pace without the necessary infrastructure which is affecting our businesses, communities and residents.

“HIF1 gives us access to £260 million worth of infrastructure that is desperately needed to support the growth of new houses, allow better connectivity and improvements for residents, cyclists, buses and reduce congestion around our villages.”

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesperson said: “If approved, the project would transform travel in the Didcot area for current and future residents as well as commuters.

"It would provide more sustainable travel options in and around Didcot, as well as reducing congestion in the surrounding villages and improving air quality and noise levels. It would improve pedestrian and cycling connectivity, enable more reliable journey times for buses, and support allocated housing and employment sites.”