A TOWN mayor has described plans for 1400 new houses as 'unfair'.

Cllr Mike Tysoe, mayor of Chipping Norton argues that West Oxfordshire District Council's local plan for 2031 has hit the town harshly compared to the rest of the area.

The plan that fell through last year had seen an agreement reached that there would be only 600 homes built in the town around the Tank Farm area.

Cllr Tysoe, who has cross-party support on the town council for his objections, said: "We agreed in 2016 that 600 new houses would be put around Tank Farm but now it is 1200 to 1400, it is not acceptable.

"They are not the sort of houses needed in the town, we don't need more housing for old people to buy, it is completely unfair.

"The town needs council houses, for want of a better word.

"The county council is pushing the district council to do this.

"The demand for houses comes from Oxford City who do not want to build on their green land so they use somebody else's.

"We strongly feel that some of this increased development should be directed towards the villages which are slowly dying with pubs/schools and village shops closing.

"The Tank Farm site is regarded as being one of the best areas of farmland in the area beautiful pasture land with a good bio-diversity but it is outside the AONB - there are pockets of land within the AONB, some of which are little better than scrubland, which are available for development but WODC seem to be frightened of permitting development there."

Giles Hughes, head of planning at West Oxfordshire District Council said, “It is not correct to say that the county council forced us to put the number of houses up as this was a decision taken by West Oxfordshire District Council.

"A larger scheme will help deliver a new link road to the east of Chipping Norton which can divert some traffic away from the town centre. This will benefit air quality in the town centre, and the pedestrian environment.

“The district faces challenging housing targets (16,000 new homes by 2031).

"Government Policy is clear that we need to plan to meet this need. Chipping Norton is one of the most sustainable settlements in West Oxfordshire, and therefore the 1,400 homes proposed are appropriate.”

An Oxfordshire County Council spokesman said: "Oxfordshire County Council works with West Oxfordshire District Council (and all district councils) to provide evidence on transport and highways matters to support the local plan process.

"West Oxfordshire sought evidence to understand the transport and highways implications of increasing the amount of development at Chipping Norton, and other locations across the District, as directed by the Local Plan Inspector’s report from December 2015.

"The district council assess the transport and highways evidence in conjunction with other evidence relating to matters such as landscape and environment, flooding/drainage, and education etc. to derive the locations and levels of growth assigned across the district."