PLANS to build 170 homes between Didcot and the village of East Hagbourne have been met with opposition from both communities.

Grainger PLC wants to build a development to the east of New Road, which connects the two areas.

Residents of East Hagbourne and Didcot have formed a protest group – Mind the Green Gap – against the proposals.

Co-ordinator Andy Barmer said: “We are extremely concerned about the scale of this development and the speed with which it is being driven. There has been no proper community engagement about the proposals.

“We agree that more housing is needed in Didcot but these houses and flats do not belong on this plot of land.”

The East Hagbourne resident added: “We support the council’s core strategy as it consulted widely and recognised that villages around Didcot should not become suburbs.

“If Grainger’s plan succeeds, more development will follow on this precious green space.”

An outline planning application is being prepared following a request from South Oxfordshire District Council.

Grainger said the new homes would help the council meet its housing needs, with 40 per cent of the project being affordable rent or shared ownership.

The 17-acre site to the south east of Didcot is currently used for farming and is bordered by housing to the north and west.

Another campaigner, Marcus Wood, said: “Grainger’s scheme is entirely speculative and it has no interest in the community that will be affected – people are furious.”

His daughter Bryony said: “East Hagbourne School is completely full. I don’t know where they think the kids will be taught.”

The village’s parish council has also lodged an objection.

Vice-chairman Iain Duff said the development would be a “very significant increase” to a village that currently has 600 homes. Last month 148 residents from the village and Didcot attended a meeting on the plans.

Mr Duff added: “The feeling from this meeting was one of shock and anger that Grainger was not fully consulting with those that would be affected by the development.”

Grainger’s John Beresford said: “The comments received in support and objection are being reviewed, and will form part of the Statement of Community Involvement to be included within a planning application submission.”