CONTROVERSIAL plans for 502 new homes in a historic part of Wallingford will be discussed by councillors tonight.

Berkeley Homes has submitted a planning application to South Oxfordshire District Council to build the new homes at Winterbrook, off Reading Road, north of the Wallingford Bypass.

At the same time, Miller Homes is asking buyers to register for two, three, four and five-bedroom houses at neighbouring site Winterbrook Park.

Town councillor Adrian Lloyd said: "The major problem is that people employed on Wallingford salaries can't afford to live in these homes so they are being built and bought for commuters.

"That means people who grow up in the town are being forced to move out to Didcot or further afield.

"What we are saying to developers is that we want to see more two-bedroom homes built and more terraced homes built.

"A lot of the homes that are being built are executive homes with four and five bedrooms - that is where the developers can make the most profit.

"We have to make sure that the town's infrastructure can cope with all these new homes – the sewerage system can not cope."

Mr Lloyd said earlier that residents moving into the new homes at Winterbrook Park would get a warm welcome.

Miller Homes said its homes were particularly 'energy efficient', buyers could save up to £1,400 a year in bills.

The development was initially rejected by South Oxfordshire District Council and was later approved following an appeal.

Kim Willcock, sales director for Miller Homes Southern, said: “While our homes provide a contemporary finish, they also pay homage to the stunning scenery of the surrounding landscape.

"Close attention has been paid towards each building’s design details, from choice of brickwork and timber porches, to countryside tones and decorative touches.

“It is expected that the development will be in high demand, due to both the quality of the homes and the popularity of the region.

"I urge those hoping to settle here, to register their interest now."

The 502-home Berkeley Homes estate off Reading Road would include a new primary school and a care home.

The outline application is being considered by South Oxfordshire district councillors tonight, at a meeting at Didcot Civic Hall at 6pm.

Officers recommend the new homes should be approved, with 40 per cent of the houses affordable – 75 per cent of which would be affordable rent and 25 per cent shared ownership.

Wallingford Town Council has objected to the development, claiming it is 'premature', and 'in advance of its neighbourhood plan'.

Winterbrook House was the home of crime writer Agatha Christie from 1934 until her death in 1976.

Plans have been approved for a 555-home estate off Wantage Road, to be built by St Edward Homes at Slade End Farm.