A VILLAGE’S fight to protect itself against development has sparked widespread debate after it featured in a BBC TV series last night.

The New Builds are Coming: Battle in the Countryside followed residents of Culham as they try to stop 3,500 homes being built on Green Belt land next door.

It was shown on BBC Two on Wednesday night, starring a familiar cast of characters including the leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, John Cotton and Caroline Baird, the chairwoman of the Save Culham Green Belt group.

In the show, Culham resident Edward Reily-Collins called the quality of new housing in the county ‘diabolical’ and said it would create ‘tyre kickers’ who would have nowhere to play ‘so they will go and smash up somebody’s car or something’.

Mr Cotton, who is described in the programme as being ‘as popular as Dutch elm disease’, admitted his own wife is ‘somewhat edgy’ about the plans for new developments and the conversation is ‘best avoided’ in the Cotton household.

But he believes there are ‘exceptional circumstances’ to justify building on the green belt.

Twitter users joined the debate as the programme aired, with @AntBreach commenting: “Not one argument made by the NIMBYs to protect the green belt had anything to do with the environment.”

But @PilatesPT said: “Developing this area will not provide homes for those with low incomes!”