A CONTROVERSIAL housing estate in a picturesque village in Oxfordshire is set to go ahead despite 'strong objections' over flood risks.

Plans to build 84 new homes in Ambrosden were approved by Cherwell District Council and construction will begin as early as spring next year.

The major proposal for the 10-acre site off Merton Road that was put forward in 2018 faced harsh opposition from both residents and Ambrosden Parish Council.

A letter to the planning inspector at Cherwell District Council detailed concerns including increased traffic, limited parking spaces and the lack of provisions for families like a consistent local GP and spaces in the village school.

Parishioners also cited the risk of flooding as main objection and added the flooding studies carried out are 'flawed'.

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The district council also received almost 20 individual objections with key points including overdevelopment of the village, loss of biodiversity, pressure on utilities and 'inappropriate' loss of farmland.

One resident Stuart Symes commented: "The additional houses will clog up what is already becoming a very busy narrow road, which floods often.

"Indeed my back garden now regularly floods with surface water since the Ambrosden Court Development was completed.

"I am sure this is a result of concreting over the previous flood plain lands and paddock."

Another resident Mark Goodson said: "The road infrastructure through the village is already incapable of supporting the weight of traffic generated by recent housing developments at that end of the village, and this proposal would exacerbate the situation further.

"Facilities are already inadequate to support its recent growth, and the sense of the place is being insensitively diluted.

"It should be recognised that Ambrosden has done more than its bit when it comes to solving the national housing crisis.

"It is about time that it was shown some respect, rather than being constantly considered as an uncontested soft spot for development."

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The land that is only 1.5 miles to the south of Bicester will see a selection of one, two, three and four-bedroom homes erected, which will provide 'much-needed private and affordable housing' according to developer Redrow Homes.

Addressing villagers' concerns Charles Rafferty, land director for the housebuilder, committed to more than £1.2million to support the local area.

This includes £490,000 towards primary education, £113,000 to support the improvement and expansion of the Ambrosden Village hall, as well as £84,000 of funding to go towards improving the bus service between Oxford and Bicester.

A total of £170,000 was allocated towards off-site sports and £70,000 to support Bicester Leisure Centre

Mr Rafferty added: "We are thrilled to have unconditionally exchanged on the land north of Merton Road, in the desirable village of Ambrosden.

"Our plan is to build much-needed homes and further cement our reputation for creating thriving communities across the Oxfordshire region."