RESIDENTS of an Oxfordshire village have hit out at developers who are trying to build homes on their “precious” open countryside.

The villagers of Stanford in the Vale, near Wantage, say an application from Blue Cedar Homes to build 18 homes on a green field, will destroy the original setting of listed 17th and 18th century properties nearby.

They also say that car drivers in the proposed estate would create road safety problems for children walking to school and horse riders.

The application comes after a separate plan to build 73 homes in the village, which was refused by Vale of White Horse District Council, was allowed on appeal by a planning inspector last month.

David Pedder, who lives in Ock Meadow near the planned estate, said: “Hot on the heels of the approval of the David Wilson Homes’ development, Blue Cedar Homes has now submitted this plan on our precious Downland countryside.

“As villagers, we have many serious concerns about this development. It feels like developers are now cashing in on the lack of a national housing plan to make applications to build on land never identified as areas for potential development and we need to do all we can to stop this by objecting to this application.”

Bristol-based Blue Cedar says the 18 homes will include eight designed for over-55s, seven affordable homes to be run by a housing association and three for the open market.

Land manager Simon Tannahill said: “We understand that development is a very live issue in the village at the moment but our scheme is responding to the parish council’s own housing needs survey from 2012 by providing a good mixture of high quality two-, three- and four-bedroom housing, and it will help address an acknowledged shortfall in the Vale.

“It has been designed to integrate well with the rest of the village, and we believe it is of an appropriate scale.

“We have received no objections from English Heritage and we are confident that we can mitigate any highways issues to the satisfaction of the planners and the community.”

s The public can comment on the application on the Vale’s website until February 19.