Sir – I attended the first afternoon of the examination in public into the West Oxfordshire Local Plan.

The plan is supposed to guide the future development of West Oxfordshire taking into account social, environmental and economic factors.

However, of the 30 participants, 25 were developers or their representatives.

The developers have little, if any, interest in the overall plan for West Oxfordshire. Their concern is in getting planning permission for their own sites.

How can a proper examination of the plan take place when the meeting is overwhelmingly dominated by developers with specific vested interests?

Even worse, one of the developers is represented by the same consultancy that wrote the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) for the Oxfordshire councils.

The SHMA sets the overall policies and context for all the Oxfordshire Local Plans. It is supposedly an objective assessment of Oxfordshire’s housing needs over 20 years, though many people thought the figures were much, much too high.

I have never before felt so disenfranchised and disempowered.

The Government has said that it is putting planning in the hands of local people. It is not. It is putting planning in the hands of the developers.

Alan Lodwick