CONCERNED residents in South Oxfordshire have started a petition to halt plans for a three-storey block of flats on a field used by more than 50 junior football players.

Nearly 150 people have signed the petition to restate their strong objection against the controversial proposal for the land on Northcourt Lane, which is owned by the Abingdon Vale Cricket Club.

This follows the latest development in the strenuous three-year battle, which will see the club's appeal heard by inspector Jonathan Manning next month after the plan was rejected twice by the Vale of White Horse District Council.

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The planning inspectorate confirmed the hearing will begin at 10am on Monday, March 8.

Northcourt Road resident Helen Flynn, who launched the petition last week said: "There are numerous reasons why this development should not go ahead.

"It will overlook and spoil a protected area of Abingdon with conservation status.

"Surely, if the past year has to taught us anything it’s that we really need our green spaces and outdoor sporting facilities."

The deadline for signing this petition is Sunday, March 7.