CONCERNED residents are worried new developments in Chipping Norton do not reflect the town's Cotswolds character.

In recent months, an 80-bed extra care complex has been approved for land off London Road and the final shops have opened on the Windmill Square retail park.

Consultations have also been held on the East Chipping Norton Strategic Development Area, which is set to include 1,200 homes, a primary school and business land.

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One resident, Richard Morgan, voiced his fears after noticing a home being built on Springhill in Church Lane, where an 'ambitious' design is replacing a former barn conversion.

He said: “What struck me was that the style of the building clashed badly with its surroundings. There are places for this sort of dwelling, but surely not in an ancient market town such as Chipping Norton.

“Once you’ve set a precedent for buildings going up that aren't in keeping with the surroundings, you’ve got one foot on a very slippery slope and the devil tugging at the other leg.

“I do wonder why buildings of that particular design were passed.”

The house was designed by Adrian James architects, but Mr James told the Oxford Mail that the building was meant to fit in with its surroundings.

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He said: “We’ve been very careful to use Cotswold stone and it’s intended to look as if it’s part of the landscape.

“It isn’t a pastiche and it was never intended to be. It’s a contemporary but sympathetic design.”

Mr Morgan voiced similar concerns over plans to build a house and off-street parking on land west of Coneygreen Terrace on Albion Street.

The proposals were refused in 2017 after strong objections from Chipping Norton Town Council and West Oxfordshire District Council's conservation officer.

The latter said: "[The plans] would in no way respond meaningfully to the established historic settlement pattern in this part of the town and conservation area."

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Councillors approved the plans to build the care complex off London Road last month, but many criticised its design.

Town councillor Mike Tysoe likened it to a structure from the ‘Soviet Bloc’, but another new build, the Cotswold Gate housing estate on Burford Road, has broadly been supported.

Mayor of Chipping Norton, Don Davidson, said: “The care complex doesn’t really fit in with the surrounding buildings.

“Cotswold Gate has fitted in much better with the Cotswolds aesthetic.

“We were very lucky with Cotswold Gate. We had some really productive meetings pre-planning and we hope that anyone else building further developments will engage positively with the town council.”

West Oxfordshire District Council was approached for comment.