SHELTERED housing which could be built next to CS Lewis’ former home in Headington is posing a threat to the area which inspired the Narnia stories, it is claimed.

The CS Lewis Foundation and the author’s stepson Doug Gresham say they have been shocked by a scheme to build sheltered accommodation with an access road, running past The Kilns in Risinghurst and neighbouring nature park.

The Kilns, where The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe author lived with his brother Warnie, has long been a literary shrine.

The eight-acre garden, woodland and lake behind helped to inspire the Narnia Chronicles.

But exactly 50 years after Lewis’ death, marked on Friday with the dedication of a memorial at Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey, plans for homes on green land at the end of CS Lewis Close are being drawn up.

They are being put forward by Jonathan Beecher, a musician, whose home on Wychwood Lane borders the CS Lewis Nature Reserve. The area has been owned since 1969 by the wildlife Trust BBOWT (Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust).

Mr Beechers wants to build eight units of sheltered housing along with a music room.

The two-storey buildings would overlook the woodland and lake, with an access road running past the CS Lewis house and crossing the garden of the neighbouring property.

Dr Deborah Higgens, director of the CS Lewis Foundation and resident warden of the house, said: “It would damage the neighbourhood. “Having a major through road to 10 buildings would mean traffic cutting through. It would change everything.”

Mr Gresham, whose mother the poet Joy Davidman married CS Lewis and who lived at The Kilns, said: “This should not be allowed to happen.

“It has always been a quiet road.

“This proposal would have the effect of putting the CS Lewis house in the middle of a development that it does not belong to. “ Mr Gresham, who now lives in Malta, and returned to his former home after attending the Westminster Abbey event, added: “It would destroy what is a quiet cul-de-sac, and what for many is a holy retreat, for the sake of a profit grab idea.”

But Mr Beecher, who grew up in Risinghurst and met CS Lewis, said his scheme would allow more people to enjoy a wooded area he believed had become desolate-looking in recent times.

Mr Beecher said: “We want to build sheltered housing and do something to help address the ageing population.

“We have enough grounds for a number of apartments, along with a music room.

“It will lead to a bit more traffic down Lewis Close and some people feel anxious about that.

“The nature reserve is a wonderful site, but it is now quite worn out and unloved.”

Mr Beecher said he had begun speaking to planning officers about his plans and was meeting with the CS Lewis Foundation, which runs The Kilns as a study centre.

Lewis, a don at Magdalen College, Oxford, lived at The Kilns from 1930 until his death in 1963.

It had then been a largely rural area, with the reserve having been part of the Kilns estate.

Matt Jackson, head of conservation at BBOWT, said the organisation knew nothing about the sheltered housing plan.

He said: “With a site adjacent to a nature reserve, we would want to look at any impact on wildlife in the area.”