IT WOULD be ‘nothing short of a tragedy’ if Oxfordshire loses hundreds of millions of pounds of government funding, according to the city council’s leader.

Susan Brown emailed all South Oxfordshire district councillors on Sunday in an effort to get them to support keeping their authority's controversial Local Plan.

Last Thursday, South Oxfordshire District Council’s cabinet recommended that its current plan is scrapped. It has cost about £3.6m.

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The prospect of the council ditching the Local Plan has annoyed other councils around Oxfordshire, including the county council. They want to retain government funding.

That includes £218m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund for Didcot and potentially other funds as part of the £215m Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.

The government has warned councils that future funding might not be given if the Local Plan is scrapped.

Ms Brown wrote: “I believe it would be nothing short of a tragedy if the people of Oxfordshire were to lose out on hundreds of millions of pounds of potential future funding as well as the current funding as a result of [scrapping the Local Plan]. It doesn’t have to be like that.”