A £620m vision for Didcot's future that includes a new railway station and water park has been unveiled today.

The Didcot Garden Town masterplan aims to provide new infrastructure and get the 'best deal' for Didcot and surrounding areas, with 16,000 new homes planned for the town in coming years.

Ahead of the unveiling South Oxfordshire District Council leader John Cotton told the Oxford Mail: "We have got to be ambitious, if we are not we will never get anywhere.

"I honestly believe we can deliver at the very least two thirds of all the different schemes we are proposing.

"I think this is one of the most ambitious plans for a town anywhere in the country.

"We want a new leisure centre, which I think could have the potential to be a real state of the art facility, it would be great if we could have a water park, which people from across the county came to.

"We want new roads, a new River Thames crossing to join up the town more, this is a long term vision for the town, not everything will happen overnight."

Planning permission has already been granted for 10,000 of the 16,000 proposed homes.

Didcot was awarded garden town status by the Government in December 2015.

Garden towns are meant to provided affordable homes, schools and jobs whilst preserving the countryside around.

Mr Cotton said: "When it comes to developers it is always the case that the houses get put up first and everyone is left waiting for the roads and the schools and leisure facilities.

"Now we are making sure Didcot gets the infrastructure and the facilities it deserves, we want to make it a destination for people to come to."

A breakdown of the investment shows that £256.2m is proposed for transport infrastructure, £52.2m on sustainable travel and energy and £60.8m on town centre upgrades and leisure facilities.

A further £224m will go on key residential and commercial development projects, £18.5m for community engagement and business support and about £10m on various additional costs.

Mr Cotton added: "This is a really exciting time for Didcot, we are planning to ensure that by 2031 each home will be within 300 metres of green space the size of two football pitches.

"We also want to build a heat network which will allow us to supply homes with energy at next to little or no cost."

Residents breathed a sigh of relief earlier this year after their campaign to save their beloved Ladygrove Park from being potentially turned into a technology campus was successful and is no longer a part of the masterplan.

Mr Cotton believes that the only controversial aspect of the project could be the pedestrianisation of Cow Lane.

He added: "I can understand why residents might be sceptical because it would add time to their journeys.

"But we are making other improvements to the road, which will mean they will be hardly affected by having to go another route."

Although a majority of the plans will not be realised for the next 20 years or more, such as moving Didcot Parkway station to a new site at Rich's Siding's site, there are some which are just around the corner.

Mr Cotton added: "I think one of the schemes that can be delivered within the next five years will of course be the second phase of the Orchard Shopping Centre.

"Others are the redevelopment of the Gateway site opposite the train station and also major improvements to the town's road infrastructure."

A £50m expansion of the Orchard Centre will begin in May.

A consultation on the plans will run until Monday, July 31, and the final blueprint will be published in the autumn.

The plans, which have gone online today, are available to view on both South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils' websites.