THE first 70 homes in a 1,500-home estate were approved despite objections about owls.

Vale of White Horse District Council's planning committee passed the planning application for Crab Hill in Wantage on Monday evening.

Planning officer Stuart Walker had recommended the committee approve it, despite a slew of objections.

Wantage Town Council had objected on several grounds including concerns about the barn owls living nearby.

A total of eight residents had objected on various grounds, including that the housing design did not fit with the local area, loss of trees, and lack of play equipment in the park.

The application, by London-based St Modwen Homes, was specifically seeking final sign-off on the detailed designs for the first 70 homes in the estate.

St Modwen has already won outline planning permission for the 1,500 homes but needs to get permission for designs on all parts of the estate.