Plans to change an underground watercourse to make way for 400 new dwellings on the land at the former Didcot A Power Station have been approved.

A development of 400 homes, a convenience store, pub or restaurant, hotel and open space has been given the go ahead; however, developers are also diverting the watercourse which flows underground.

Clowes Developments Ltd plan to build on the land of the former Didcot A Power Station site and concerns around pollution have been raised.

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The Countryside officer for South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse commented on the planning application and said: "The siting of the watercourse, running close and parallel to roads (and the southern bridge crossing), raises concerns over water quality and pollution (as mentioned by the EA in their comments), phasing and would prohibit the creation of suitable planted buffers to the watercourse."

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A reserved matters planning application has been approved to change the watercourse and countryside officers say the new plans are an improvement in biodiversity terms compared to the original scheme.

However, Didcot Town Council has objected to the application and does not think the plans to change the watercourse under the development are satisfactory and said that the amendment does more hard than good.

The council commented on the application and said: "The Council notes the submitted reports from other statutory consultees.

"The Council considers that the plan will cause harm to the environment. It is not best practice to have five right-angled bends, with gentle meanders being better."

The council added: "The proposed alignment of the ordinary watercourse still does not fully incorporate the risk of pollution to the watercourse, and subsequently the Moor Ditch.

"The watercourse remains too close to the road. In the Council s opinion, a better design would reduce the number of culverts and improve the water flow."

The Environment agency also agreed the new plans for the watercourse' significantly increases the risk of pollution'.

Despite concerns, the reserved matters application has been approved.