Didcot and East Hagbourne residents have claimed they are ready to face ‘the uphill battle’ against plans for an estate of 170 houses between the town and village
Developer Grainger PLC wants to build on 1.5 acres of land east of New Road, which joins Didcot and East Hagbourne, by the Didcot Community Allotment site.
They submitted a planning application to South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) on September 30.
But the plans have come under fire from Didcot and Wantage MP Ed Vaizey, Didcot Town Council, and a campaign group called Mind the Green Gap set up in July this year.
Dorset-based Nurton Developments have also registered theirinterest in developing neighbouring land at Shortland’s Farm.
The protest group believes Nurton intends to buy and demolish houses on New Road to create an access route onto the estate.
The protest group’s chairman, Andy Barmer said: “We’re not anti-housing but we just want to see this decision made properly.
He added: “I think we have the full backing of East Hagbourne and Didcot.”
In a consultation by Grainger, 97 per cent of 295 Didcot and East Hagbourne residents said they are broadly against the plans.
Ed Vaizey met with the protest group in August at the site.
He said: “I have been against this speculative planning application since constituents made me aware of it.
“I am also concerned that if approved it could open up the area for further house building.
“SODC has a local plan in place and this area is not allocated for development in it and any building must be resisted.”
David Rickeard, of East Hagbourne Parish Council, said: “We will be very disappointed if this application is to be passed through by SODC.
“We are under no illusions that it will be an uphill battle, we are not taking the plan lightly at all, we just hope SODC will stick to the local plan.”
John Beresford, development director at Grainger, said: “The Didcot area has been earmarked by the council for further significant growth in respect of job creation and housing and our application helps to meet this housing need.
“Grainger has received a number of responses through the consultation process and it is important that everyone has a chance to express their views.”
Charlie Robertson, leader of Didcot Town Council said: “I would hope that SODC will listen to the views of affected residents.
“If planned sensibly, Didcot will become the destination of choice for people; there shouldn’t be a need for development to be enforced on the surrounding towns and villages.
“My thoughts are that if enough people are saying it’s a non-starter, SODC should take note.”
The target decision date for the plan has been set as December 30.