RESIDENTS in Chilton near Didcot are concerned about the possibility of more than 1,400 new homes being built in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

They say the proposals are part of Vale of White Horse District Council’s proposal to build an additional 20,560 homes before 2031, following the Government-backed Strategic Housing Market Assessment.

Chilton resident Frank Dumbleton says one of the sites chosen by the Vale council is in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on a greenfield site east of Harwell Laboratory and west of the A34.

He said the site was within the parishes of both Chilton and Harwell and the allocation was opposed by both parishes.

Volunteer at Didcot Railway Centre, Mr Dumbleton said: “There is a lot of concern in the area about this. People gathered in the field where the homes could be built to show what they felt about the proposal and I took their picture.”

Hendreds and Harwell county councillor Stewart Lilly, whose division includes Chilton, said: “I’m not in favour of this. An AONB is perceived to be sacrosanct by some and I think that designation should give the land some protection.

“I totally oppose this and support the local people.”