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98-home plan 'will change Kingston Bagpuize'
A NEW scheme to build a further 98 homes at Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor has angered residents, who fear their village is being transformed into a ‘new town’.
Developer Taylor Wimpey wants to build the homes on farmland, off the Draycott Road in Southmoor.
The company says it will provide open land behind Southmoor Village Hall for community use. But residents say the application comes with other major housing schemes hanging over the village, threatening to change the face of their community.
Next month, the Vale of White Horse District Council is expected to decide on an application to build 63 homes and 45 care home units on land west of Witney Road, owned by St John’s College.
A petition calling on the Oxford college “not to jump to jump on the bandwagon of developers seeking to exploit a lack of planning strategy” has already been signed by 500 people.
A separate scheme for 50 homes on a site south of Faringdon Road has already been approved, with villagers fearful that five more sites will be put forward over the coming months.
Villagers have now formed the KBS Action group, to fight unwanted development.
Its chairman, Neil Evans, said: “With decisions on two more major developments hanging over us, I’m not sure we have much to be cheerful about this Christmas. Of the eight sites identified as suitable for development in and around the village, one has already been approved and two are in progress.
“The decision on the larger of the two sites is expected to be made at the Vale’s planning committee meeting in the new year – threatening to concrete over much-loved open space.”
The latest application proposes two, three and four-bedroom houses, on an 11.5-acre site on the northern fringe of Southmoor, with 40 per cent affordable homes.
Steven Sensecall, for the agents, Kemp and Kemp, said: “It is proposed that additional open space would be provided by the village hall.”
A public meeting and exhibition of the plans was held in the village.
Mr Sensecall said: “Feelings are running quite high. There were people clearly opposed to it but a number of people saw merit in the scheme.”
Mr Sensecall said the planning application was imminent and he hoped the homes could be built by the end of 2013.
The Vale of White Horse District Council says it understands local concerns but has not seen enough new homes built and, under national planning policy, landowners and developers are allowed to seek permission for schemes that “will close the gap”.
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