PLANS for nearly 4,000 homes between Oxford and Kidlington have been branded 'unsound, unlawful and deeply flawed' after a campaign group sought legal advice.

The Begbroke and Yarnton Green Belt campaign group has written to all 48 Cherwell district councillors calling for the plan to be withdrawn.

As part of its requirement to help Oxford's unmet need, Cherwell District Council wants to build 4,400 homes north of the city - 3,900 of those on the Green Belt.

Residents in the two villages mounted their legal challenge in October after being told to 'lawyer up' by council leader Barry Wood.

The community raised its target of £9,500 and law firm Richard Buxton subsequently found the plan wasn't sound and the process of consultation unlawful.

Begbroke and Yarnton Green Belt campaign chairman Giles Lewis said: "The evidence suggests that Cherwell, in its haste to accommodate Oxford's so-called 'unmet housing needs, rushed its plan preparation, leading to shortcuts and legally inadequate consultation.

"The result is a hasty proposal to release local Green Belt land without sufficient justification."

A letter from Richard Buxton to Cherwell District Council, seen by the Oxford Mail, revealed Barry Wood had told campaigners the process could not be paused because it was needed to fend off speculative applications.

The firm said: "This is completely misleading.

"The council is misrepresenting the consequences of pausing the process in order to justify pressing ahead.

"This is extraordinary given the most serious implications of altering Green Belt boundaries."

The plans would see a 1,950-home community built on land east of the A44 at Begbroke, while 1,180 homes, have been allocated north of Oxford between Cutteslowe and the A34, including North Oxford Golf Club.

A further 530 homes are planned west of the A44 near Yarnton, and 330 more to the south and east of Kidlington.

Communication executive at Cherwell District Council, Tom Slingsby, said: "The Local Plan contains a requirement to complete a Partial Review as a contribution to meeting the unmet housing need of Oxford.

"That review has been a staged process over two years, with extensive public consultation and the consideration of 47 submitted sites.

"The seven proposed sites are the ones which have been identified as best meeting Oxford's needs."

The partial review will be submitted to the Government's planning inspectorate by March 31.