HOUSES are finally set be built on a derelict part of Carterton town centre branded an 'eyesore' by residents.

A disused Esso petrol station on Upavon Way has been called a 'blight' on the landscape and was even set on fire in 2017, but it could now be replaced by 46 affordable homes.

The site was also previously occupied by The Osprey pub, but both buildings closed around 15 years ago and the area is now fenced off.

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Nearby homeowners have long called for the site to be addressed and a planning application from Cottsway Housing Association last week has been met with great relief.

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Norman MacRae, West Oxfordshire district councillor for Carterton North East, said: "The place has been a blight on the horizon.

"It's been desperate for many years - it looks like a bomb site.

"I'm so pleased as I've been wingeing for ages that something needed to be done.

"It's aesthetic gain for the town and personal gain for those people that want to come and live here."

The Osprey was knocked down after it closed, but some of the filling station buildings remain on the site.

Fencing was put up to prevent antisocial behaviour, but this was not enough to discourage the dramatic fire two years ago.

Two teenage boys were arrested after the blaze ripped through the building, with three fire engines attending the scene to find the roof collapsed.

Before submitting the application, Cottsway contacted all residents 'within the immediate vicinity of the site' during a two-week consultation on the plans.

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The developer wrote that all feedback received was 'positive', with Andrew Ashman, who lives on nearby road Dovetrees with his wife, agreeing that new houses were needed.

He said: "Anyone who drives to Carterton from Burford sees it and it gives them a very bad impression of the town.

"10 years ago my daughter had her 18th birthday nearby and it was embarrassing to walk past the derelict garage and closed pub with my family.

"It's been left behind - this land has been abandoned."

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According to T S H Architects's design and access statement, the 46 homes will be either rented or shared ownership properties, with the 'final allocation being agreed' with the district council's housing department.

The proposed buildings are a mix of flats and houses and will be two and three storeys high.

It is hoped the application will go to the district council's planning committee by April.

Patrick and Dena Downing, both 78, live yards from the site and believe the application for the 'valuable' piece of land was overdue.

Mr Downing said: "A park there would have been nice but people need houses.

He added: "A lot of people comment on how it's such a waste."