VILLAGERS have been left 'disappointed' after plans to build 80 new homes in fields on the edge of Oxford were given the green light.

Plans to build the houses in Marston were given the go-ahead by Oxford City Council despite opposition from local residents.

The development will feature 13 one-bedroom flats, 28 two-bedroom, 35 three-bedroom, and four four-bedroom houses.

Concerns at the meeting largely centred on the increased traffic it would create through the village of Old Marston.

Old Marston Parish Council said Oxford Road was being used as a 'rat run' already. Oxford Civic Society argued for a direct connection between the homes and the A40, which is not currently proposed, to 'alleviate unacceptable degradation of conditions on Mill Lane and in Old Marston'.

A residents group, Friends of Old Marston, said traffic was already at dangerous levels.

Peter Williams is a parish councillor for Old Marston. Speaking after the decision, he said: "It has been disappointing for the parish council in general because we lodged objections to it.

"The new development will have a cumulative impact on increasing the traffic.

"Oxford Road is a well-known rat run, and Mill Lane is not a suitable road, as it is narrow which currently doesn't allow vehicles to pass each other."

He said that if the Old Marston Paddock development went ahead, seeing a further 40 homes built in the village, the issues would be heightened.

He added: "This is a recipe for congestion and safety issues – particularly at school times.

"It is not that the parish council has any objection to housing, because we recognise the need to it, especially social housing, but we worry about the safety problems and worry that the village is expanding so much that it is loosing its identity – it is turning into a small town."

"I understand they want to encourage cycling, so have to create new cycle paths. People will want to bike when they can, but not on days when it's raining like today, and that's a problem."

Nine of the councillors on the committee voted to approve the application, many highlighting that the development will help the supply of houses within the city.

City councillor Jemima Hunt, who represents St Clements ward, was the only councillor to vote against the motion, arguing that the development was too 'car-centric' and would lead to more accidents in the village.

Outside the planning committee, however, other councillors have also expressed concerns.

Councillor Mick Haines, who represents Marston, said that he 'could not believe' development had been approved.

Speaking to this paper, he said: "There are a lot of problems with this development.

"Marston means 'marsh town', so there are going to be problems with flooding – that is my main concern.

"I have also had lots of calls from residents who are concerned the village will become a rat run."