Protesters opposed to plans to build an eco-town near Weston-on-the-Green spelled out the word 'No' in human form in a bid to make their opinions heard today.

More than 500 people gathered at Weston-on-the-Green playing fields to hammer home their opposition to plans to build 15,000 new homes on land close to the A34/M40 junction near Bicester.

Among them was tennis star Tim Henman's father, Anthony, who lives in the village and who has emerged as one of the key figures in campaign group Weston Front.

Mr Henman said: "We are protesting against the possibility of developers building a new town on our doorstep.

"We are not against new housing, we are not against new estates and we are not against affordable housing, but they have got to be in the right place with the right infrastructure."

However, a handful of people in favour of the scheme also turned up.

The Weston Otmoor scheme is one of 15 proposed eco-towns currently being considered by the Government.

Other eco towns are planned in Bordon, Hampshire, Rossington near Doncaster, Ford in West Sussex and Curborough in Staffordshire.

Consultation on the Weston Otmoor scheme ends at the end of the month -and protesters want to leave the Government in no doubt as to their feelings.

But they are unlikely to have things all their own way - especially as the Government will have the final say.

Earlier this month the Government's housing minister Caroline Flint said: "Housing demand has outstrippped supply and irrespective of short term market conditions, this has pushed prices far beyond the reach of many people.

"But do we need more houses round here? The answer is clearly yes.

"Not only are there around 3,400 families on a waiting list for affordable housing in Cherwell - there are almost 4,000 in Oxford. This eco-town would provide between 3,000 and 5,000 new affordable homes."

Banbury MP Tony Baldry said: "This would be a suburban nightmare, doomed to become one of the slums of tomorrow."