WORRIES that a new 125-home estate might cause urban sprawl in a southern Oxfordshire town have been quelled, after a wave of opposition from residents.

Developer Wellbeck Land was refused outline planning permission for 125 homes on a field near Steeds Farm between Faringdon and Great Coxwell at a meeting of Vale of White Horse District Council's planning committee last week.

The committee turned down the plans on the grounds that there were not enough affordable homes at the site, and that the developer was not contributing enough to fund services in the local area.

But ahead of the meeting, locals had raised the alarm about the plan to build on the field to the west of the A420.

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This included both Faringdon Town Council and Great Coxwell Parish Council, who were concerned it would 'encroach on the open space between the two parishes'.

A total of 21 letters from local residents also included a host of objections to the plan, with some also concerned that the boundaries between Faringdon and the neighbouring village to the south would be eroded.

Others had concerned about the environmental damage the new homes would cause.

Oxfordshire's clinical commissioning group, which oversees local healthcare planning, was also critical of the plans, and said a £12,000 payment from the developer to local GP surgeries would not be enough to cover the extra people brought in by the new homes.

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This field to the north of the refused plan is being transformed into 200 homes. Picture: Google Maps.

At the meeting held last Wednesday (August 19), councillors heard from an agent for the developer, Nathan McLoughlin, who argued that Wellbeck would help create better infrastructure on roads south of Faringdon, including a 'much needed' upgrade to the junction with the A420.

Mr McLoughlin said this would serve all of Faringdon, not just the estate itself.

Council officer Penny Silverwood said it was unlikely that improvements to the Coxwell Road-A420 link would be made without the new homes being approved.

The field was part of land earmarked as a strategic site for new homes in the Vale of White Horse District Council's Local Plan, with hopes of building 200 houses there.

But the site has been split up into several separate plots of land, with 200 homes currently being built to the north of the empty field.

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A local councillor, David Grant, spoke on behalf of residents at the meeting, and said the new homes would lead to approximately 320 homes at the fields: a larger amount that laid out in the Local Plan.

Committee member Jerry Avery proposed the new homes should be refused.

Mr Avery said: "I feel that we are being rushed into this and I would like to have a lot more information before we accept this proposal."

The chairman, Max Thompson, agreed and said: "In my mind, the provision of affordable housing is not at the level we would like it."

The planning committee refused the application because it did not provide the 35 per cent affordable housing target the Vale sets for all new housing estates.