A controversial council plan – which councillors worry could cause the collapse of deals worth hundreds of millions of pounds – has cost £3.6m so far, it can be revealed.
Senior council figures across Oxfordshire share profound concerns over the approach South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) has taken over its Local Plan. They fear it could mean the collapse of the £250m Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal and the loss of £218m of other government funding for Didcot.
That worry swelled within councils after SODC said it would wait until October to formally discuss its Local Plan again, cancelling proposed meetings for September.
SODC’s spending is double the £1.8m its neighbour Vale of White Horse District Council has spent on its own Local Plan.
According to details obtained through a Freedom of Information request, SODC said it had spent £2.1m on staff, £1.2m on consultants and studies and a further £58,920 on legal advice. Another £185,894 accounts for miscellaneous costs, which could also include other staff costs, the authority said.