Celebrity chef Raymond Blanc is seeking to "future-proof" Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons amid increased competition and changing customer expectations.

The Michelin-starred hotel-restaurant has recently applied for planning permission to upgrade the 15th Century grade II-listed building.

It hopes to create a new wellness spa, bistro, and a Raymond Blanc Academy on its site in Great Milton.

New highway access is also proposed.

However, the application for expansion is causing concern locally.

Tim Darch, clerk of Great Milton Parish Council, said these were largely due to the scale of the proposed development and resulting impacts.

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The parish council last week agreed to comment upon the plans without supporting or objecting to them.

Villager Caroline Smith commented on the South Oxfordshire District Council planning portal: "I cannot support this proposal in its current form because it is too large and urban in its character.

"I am sad not to be able to support the proposal because I have always been proud and supportive of Le Manoir in the past but this development is just too big."

Sue Johns commented: "My primary concern remains the traffic through the village both in terms of congestion, which is already terrible at certain times, but also safety of pedestrians given parts of the village have no pavements.

"Whilst I welcome the temporary bus service this may not coincide with the completion of this expansion (if not continued), and there is no guarantee of uptake from staff. Let alone the traffic caused by the construction itself!"

However, Catherine Harrod said: "I fully support the Le Manoir planning application, and commend them for their transparency and for their response to the community's concerns.

"I believe that Le Manoir is a very important asset to the village of Great Milton and in the 19 years I have lived here, they have always considered and included the community and have provided a boost to the local economy.

"The retention of their reputation and continued success cannot be ignored in maintaining the standing of the village, both locally and globally."

Villagers have also said The Belmond Hotel group, owners of the manor house and Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, had "destroyed" a meadow of wildflowers.

Local resident David Treanor said: "There was a profusion of wildflowers there, wildlife, insects.

"They're not cultivating it or growing anything on it, they've just mown it down to the ground. It's terrible, it's just ecological vandalism."

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He cited the nationwide campaign, No Mow May.

"It was beautiful, now it's just a desert," he added.

Another resident, Nicola Weir, who objected to the hotel group's planning application, said: "As a climate and sustainability specialist I was shocked to witness the destruction of acres of wildflower and natural fields at a time when wildlife is flourishing and most in need of these habitats.

"This raises huge concern to me of the principals of this project and the impact it will have on the local ecology."

A spokeswoman for the hotel group told the BBC it was carrying out "well overdue" annual maintenance work on the field.

In a letter to planning officers, M Blanc said he had been chef/patron for 38 years.

"I have endeavoured to achieve the highest values of excellence and sustainability in all the works we have undertaken in the house previously," he wrote.

He added: "I will only commit to stay at Le Manoir if the highest level of excellence can live and thrive beyond me."

The plans can be viewed on South Oxfordshire District Council's website.