CHERWELL District Council has unanimously rejected plans to build a multi-million-pound water park resort near Bicester.

After months of campaigning against the plan, people are relieved that councillors at a planning meeting this afternoon refused permission.

Applicants, Great Wolf Resorts, wanted the site in Chesterton to be its first UK build and European flagship.

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But its plan received stacks of criticism from residents and parish councils who all opposed.

Jo Martin, mother-of two, from Chesterton, said: "I think this is a victory for common sense. We trusted our local councillors to scrutinise this development with the best interests of the whole community at heart, and they’ve done that today."

Jackie Williams, Chesterton Parish Council clerk, said: "This was never a plan to benefit the local community. Great Wolf wanted to attract up to half a million customers mostly from outside our area, who would drive here in their private cars, stay overnight at the resort, eat and drink there – and then drive away the next day.

"It was never a local amenity and would have caused enormous damage to our roads and communities while local families would have struggled to use it. It was a lose-lose for us."

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Coralie Rodwell commented on the Keep the Wolf from the Door campaign Facebook page.

She said: "This is absolutely fantastic news and I’m so glad. The fact that it was a unanimous decision is very encouraging and they showed GW the door.

"No doubt they will appeal but I can’t see anything changing in either GW’s proposals or the council’s decision. So proud of all my fellow villagers who fought against it - thank you all so much."

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A spokesperson for Great Wolf Resorts said:​ “We are disappointed councillors have voted to refuse our planning application for a new Great Wolf Lodge near Bicester. We believe there are significant unresolved matters which can be addressed as part of this application.

“We believe the resort will bring a number of benefits to the local community, including jobs and economic stimulus through the use of local suppliers and an estimated £5.7m spent by guests throughout Oxfordshire per year. 

"Indeed, through our charitable, environmental, educational and community efforts we want this Great Wolf Lodge to not only be our first resort in Europe, but an amenity that locals are proud to have in their community.”​