RESIDENTS fighting “aggressive development plans” in Kingston Bagpuize could make a film to spearhead their campaign.
And the villagers are no strangers to the silver screen.
They recently featured in the romantic comedy Tortoise in Love but they are preparing to go in front of the cameras again as part of their development fight.
Residents fear the village will be transformed into an Oxfordshire “new town”, with a stream of planning applications swelling its population.
A meeting held at John Blandy School heard that eight sites in and around the village have been identified for potential development, with a scheme for 50 homes in Southmoor, on land south of Faringdon Road, having already been granted outline permission by the Vale of White Horse District Council.
Villagers say Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor, Shrivenham and Watchfield have been identified to accommodate 850 new homes to help the Vale meet its housing targets.
Brian Forster, chairman of Kingston Bagpuize Parish Council, said: “We’re not against development but the scale of what is currently being proposed is excessive. “Each application will be viewed in isolation, with the consequence of a potentially catastrophic net effect on the community and the loss of valuable space in and around the village.”
Tortoise in Love was funded by and starred many local residents. Villagers are now determined to put the experience to good use by putting together a short film to draw attention to their campaign.
Martyn Dunk, a member of the newly formed KBS action group, said: “Around 200 people attended our public meeting. “Asked who was in favour of these planning proposals not one hand was raised.”
Last Friday villagers set out their concerns to Wantage MP Ed Vaizey. The Vale of White Horse District Council said concerns about new development are understandable.
Vale council leader Matthew Barber said: “Over recent years the Vale has not seen enough new homes built and, under national planning policy, landowners and developers are allowed to seek permission for schemes that will close the gap between where we are and how much should have been built.
“We will welcome good quality schemes and will refuse those that do not come up to standard.”