RESIDENTS of a South Oxfordshire village ‘close to breaking point’ from new developments have called for proposals for almost 200 more homes to be rejected.

More than 700 homes have already been approved and will be built in Chinnor in the coming years.

Two separate planning applications for a combined further 194 homes, rejected last year, have been appealed by developers.

Villagers packed out the Chinnor Community Pavilion throughout this week as the public inquiry got under way.

The Stand up for Chinnor campaign group also launched a petition - signed by more than 2,000 people - calling for its neighbourhood plan to be abided by and for the plans to be rejected.

The group’s spokesman, Paul Martin, who lives in the village, said: “Residents feel that Chinnor and its environs are close to breaking point in terms of infrastructure.

“We already have 716 homes being built across sites in the village which represents a 32% increase.

“Three more major sites - including the two being appealed now - would add an additional 247 dwellings to this number.”

He added: “This could potentially increase the population of Chinnor Parish by 2,432 residents, putting extra undue pressure on facilities such as schools, GPs, traffic flow, parking and utilities — not to mention the destruction of wildlife habitats and the effect on our quality of life.”

South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning committee refused Persimmon Homes’ 140 dwelling scheme in May last year.

Councillors said the plans, for land south of Greenwood Avenue, failed to secure the affordable housing and infrastructure to meet the needs of the district.

It also said that with two approved developments either side of the site the intervening green space would be lost.

But Persimmon Homes has appealed the decision and a public inquiry began earlier this week.

The developer said: “The [SODC] development plan is out-of-date and silent for a number of reasons, including that the council is unable to show a five year housing land supply.

“Viewed in the context of the serious market and affordable housing shortfall in the district the housing delivery benefits of the appeal scheme are substantial.”

It added that the Chinnor Neighbourhood Plan failed to allocate sites for housing.

The separate Cala Homes application for 54 homes off Crowell Road has also been appealed on the grounds that the council failed to give notice of its decision in the appropriate period - and was included in the inquiry, which reconvenes on Tuesday.

The public inquiry will run until July 10, and a decision will be made later this year.