WORK on the Shores Green junction at Witney could begin in three years’ time, according to the leader of Oxfordshire County Council.

But Ian Hudspeth has warned that the work would only be able to start if the funds are made available within the next two years.

Mr Hudspeth urged the owner of land near the junction to come forward with development plans and said he was still waiting for James Mawle, who owns land in the area, to release funding for the Shores Green scheme before work can start.

Mr Hudspeth said: “We have got the work scheduled in for around about 2017/18 but it is depending on funding and the biggest amount of that is going to come through developer contributions.

“If there is no development coming forward in East Witney we will have to look elsewhere.

The Cogges Link Road scheme, which would have cost about £20m, was abandoned in 2012 after it was rejected by the Secretary of State for Transport.

Since then the county council has been attempting to go ahead with the Shores Green scheme as an alternative.

The scheme will involve creating two new slip roads and improvements to the B4022 Oxford Hill junction with Jubilee Way and Cogges Hill Road.

Developer contributions from Mr Mawle would have been used for the Cogges Link Road but Mr Hudspeth says these have now been repaid.

The Conservative councillor says Mr Mawle will either have to give this money back to the council, or bring forward plans to develop land in East Witney.

West Oxfordshire District Council has earmarked the land at East Witney for 300 homes in its Local Plan.

Labour county councillor for Witney South and Central Laura Price said her party would table a motion at tomorrow’s meeting of full council so that the authority’s administration can answer questions about Shores Green.

She said: “What we want is a proper, open and transparent debate about how the county council can deliver on its commitment.’’ In May Mark Walker, who owns the land in High Cogges, south of the A40, said he would be willing to discuss selling his land to allow work on the junction to start.

Mr Mawle said he was working with West Oxfordshire District Council over developing the land at East Witney.

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