ONE of the last 'most beautiful views' out of Didcot is at risk of being lost after tens of thousands of tonnes of earth were 'dumped' on a field.

People living in the new Greenway development off Park Road to the south of the town are watching with horror as the North Wessex Downs disappears from view due to the rising earth levels.

Developer Taylor Wimpey is shifting earth from the neighbouring Great Western Park development onto the field, rising ground levels by more than a metre for drainage reasons, and is preparing to plant trees which could block the views for good.

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It is building a new allotment and car park with 30 spaces for the estate and claims the trees are needed to shield views of the homes from surrounding villages.

But Greenway residents, whose homes were built by rival developer Bloor Homes, feel they will be most adversely affected while large swathes of the estate to the west of the estate have very little screening.

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Residents tried to challenge the plan during the planning process but it was given permission and work has now started.

Andy Hughes, who lives in Beech Lane, said: "I made a number of objections to the planning application, particularly to the changing of the ground levels which will mean that the impact of the allotments and the large car park will be far greater than if the natural lines of the land had been maintained."

Mr Hughes added that he is concerned the work is removing an area where water naturally collects over the winter, risking flooding to Park Road.

He also said that no access has been left to a footpath to West Hagbourne while the work takes place.

This is forcing people to walk along the edge of Park Road and in a ditch if a car comes along.

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Another resident, who lives in Larch Drive, said many of the 1,000 trees being planted on the southern edge of the field will grow to 80 feet high with no gaps.

He feels a hedge would be more in keeping with the area.

He added: "The overall aim of creating an open field and allotments can be done without changing the current contours of the land, and the destruction and disturbance that this will require.

"At the moment the field is being enjoyed by many residents and blends naturally with the surrounding countryside."

Mr Hughes said the area is currently extensively used by dog walkers and doesn't feel more allotments are needed, given there are already several vacant in the town's existing sites.

Neighbours have also been baffled by the need to build such a big car park next to the allotment site when the majority of the intended users will live within walking distance.

Some feel the 'excessively large' area may attract anti-social behaviour with large groups congregating there at night.

Taylor Wimpey did not respond to requests for comment.