A VILLAGE is fighting plans to remove it from the Green Belt as part of a document that will guide house building in south Oxfordshire for the next decade.

Residents in Shippon have urged Vale of White Horse District Council to reconsider plans to take away the village's protected status in part two of its local plan 2031 due to 1,200 new homes expected at nearby Dalton Barracks.

Banners have been put up in the village calling on people to comment on the authority's consultation into the planning document, following modifications stemming from a review last year by planning inspector David Reed, before the deadline on Monday to show the strength of local feeling.

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St Helen Without parish councillor Richard Bahu, which covers Shippon, in a statement to the Vale's full council last month, said campaigners felt Mr Reed was 'fundamentally wrong' in advising taking the village out of the Green Belt, adding: “The communities of St Helen Without and Wootton parishes made a massive commitment under the Localism Act to create their joint neighbourhood plan.

"Our independent neighbourhood plan character assessment clearly set out the open character of Shippon which the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) states makes it an important contributor to the openness of the Green Belt and hence justifies it remaining washed over by the Green Belt."

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Mr Bahu argued Mr Reed 'directly contradicted' an earlier letter to the authority stating Green Belt designation should only be deleted 'from the site concerned and no more' in his final letter to the Vale on November 27. The councillor claimed keeping Shippon in the Green Belt would be a simple 'editing' decision and would have no adverse effects on the local plan.

District councillor Catherine Webber, who represents Shippon, said: “Residents of Shippon feel very strongly that it is their duty to preserve the unique character of this ancient village and most particularly its open green spaces."

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She said Green Belt removal would put the village at 'high risk' of this being lost, particularly a field which currently acts as a buffer between the anticipated 1,200 homes and Shippon.

Comments can be submitted on the modified local plan part two via whitehorsedc.gov.uk until Monday.