Plans to expand the Seacourt Park-and-Ride have been branded a “waste” of taxpayer money after the expansion into greenbelt land was narrowly approved.
The secretary of state will now make a full decision after a majority of councillors voted in favour at the Planning Review Committee meeting in Oxford Town Hall on Wednesday.
Green Party councillor Ruthi Brandt, shadow member for planning and regulatory services, opposed the council’s plans alongside Mary Clarkson and Andrew Gant, calling the decision “disappointing”.
She said: “I was hoping sense will prevail. As a member of the committee, I’ve been trying to understand the reasoning and the planning reasons for why this is acceptable, but I just wasn’t convinced.
“What frustrated me was this conflation of essential and important. It might be important to have an extension to the park and ride, but it’s not essential and that’s why I think the secretary of state is going to deny approving it.
“I think we’ve wasted our council’s money by approving the plan.”
Despite being approved last month, the decision had to be looked at once more after a number of councillors called it in.
The scheme was met with opposition by campaigners from the Oxford Flood Alliance and the Oxfordshire Badger Group who protested outside the council offices during the meeting.
Nigel Chapman, James Fry, Chewe Munkonge, John Tanner and David Henwood voted to approve the expansion, while Pat Kennedy abstained.
Councillor Henwood said: “It’s not a perfect result for this piece of land but when you reach a compromise decision, it’s not going to be a perfect decision.
“I would like to see the greenbelt not built on, but we are actually only talking about a very small piece of land. Because the risk of flooding in the area would be mitigated somewhat by the new plans, that to me meant that flooding was not an issue.”
A group of travellers moved onto the Thornhill Park-and-Ride site on Thursday, while Water Eaton and Pear Tree have also been occupied by travellers in the last month.