VILLAGERS have pledged to fight “a bombshell” of hundreds of homes for Radley and Kennington.

Up to 700 homes could be built on three Green Belt sites, say Radley residents, with the village’s character to be sacrificed to meet new housing targets.

And they have warned the area’s roads and school would be unable to cope with such rapid expansion, which they claim has been prepared with local people having no say.

The 710 new homes are put forward in the updated Vale of White Horse District Council’s Local Plan, with the authority proposing to build 20,560 new homes – 7,430 more than previously proposed.

Up to 200 new homes are proposed on the northern edge of Radley behind the church hall. Another 240 are being earmarked on the Abingdon side of the village on green land bounded by Whites Lane.

The third site for 270 homes is just down the road on the southern edge of Kennington, on land between Kennington Road and the railway, which it is claimed threatens the green boundary separating the two villages.

Radley Parish Council chairwoman Jenny Standen said: “The village has always been protected by the Green Belt. People are horrified that it is being removed in one sweep.

“The village has about 900 dwellings and that includes mobile homes. An increase of this size is too much and it would be in the first phase of the housing delivery.”

The council says the proposals would see an 80 per cent increase in homes in a time frame of just 15 years. A proposed development nearby of 400 homes north of Dunmore Road and 200 homes at Lamborough Hill, Wootton, would further add to pressure on roads, it is claimed.

Ms Standen said: “The infrastructure would not be there until the housing was completed. We have a primary school that is full and the roads here are already close to capacity. “ The parish council said it would be forming a working party to fight the plans, with two of the sites understood to be owned by Radley College. The council fears it stands to be a victim of a new Green Belt review, which could see precious green areas between Oxford and Abingdon disappearing.

With its railway station and new station car park, Radley has good links with Oxford, Didcot, London and the science site at Culham.

The council said it now expects the long awaited southbound access to the A34 at Lodge Hill, to be put forward as “a sweetener”.

But the council’s newsletter warns: “The benefits of this will probably be negated by the huge proposed developments along the A34 corridor to the south at Milton and Harwell, plus new developments at South Drayton and Sutton Courtenay. They will probably have the effect of bringing this already congested road to a standstill.”

Residents in Cumnor have already put together a legal fighting fund to oppose plans that would increase the number of homes in Cumnor by 50 per cent. They want to raise £2,500 for legal advice to fight council plans to earmark 200 homes at Green Belt land south of the village, which has 400 homes.

Andy Roberts, for the Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “These are just proposals at this stage. We would like to encourage everybody to provide their comments before the end of tomorrow.”