Radley Parish Council has reassured residents they will be properly consulted about plans for a public school to build homes on Green Belt land.

Villagers have reacted angrily to Radley College's proposal for houses in Gooseacre, off Foxborough Road.

A Save Radley group was formed after the parish council revealed the independent school's proposals.

Radley College said it would provide a new village hall, with a sports pavilion and two playing fields, on a site next to Radley Primary School, in Church Road, from income which would be generated by new housing on the Gooseacre site.

The parish council vowed to act in the village's best interests.

Chairman Jenny Standen said: “Radley College has made the parish a very attractive offer and we have a duty to consider it. "It is unfortunate that it could lead to development on Green Belt land, but as virtually all undeveloped land in the parish is Green Belt, this is probably unavoidable. "However, it is something that the parish council is very concerned about and the loss of any green space in the village would be regrettable. "However, the hysteria with which this has been greeted by a few Radley residents is unwarranted and is pre-empting the views of many others in the parish — some of whom may consider this a fair price to pay for these new facilities, which will undeniably be of great benefit to the parish long into the future."

She emphasised: "At the present time, the parish council has not committed itself to any course of action on this issue and the people of Radley can be assured that they will be fully consulted before any decisions are taken.”

The present village hall was built more than 40 years ago on the playing fields, which are leased from Radley College.

Last year, the parish council began looking for an alternative hall following assertions that the building was no longer fit for purpose.