CAMPAIGNERS packed a meeting yesterday to object to a plan for 160 homes being built in Bampton.

But councillors at the West Oxfordshire District Council meeting ruled to defer the decision until a site visit had been carried out.

The proposal, for land off New Road, was recommended for approval by council officers.

Objectors in the village – where scenes for ITV show Downton Abbey are filmed – raised concerns about possible flooding on the site and its impact on the character of Bampton.

Up to 60 people from Bampton attended the meeting.

Trevor Milne-Day said: “We don’t think there should be no development in Bampton, but don’t think it should be at the expense of the village.”

Bampton and Clanfield councillor Martin Barrett proposed the site visit. He said: “This could lead to severe flooding problems which would not only devastate future residents but current residents in the area. I have seen the site and know the site.

“I think we would be failing in our duty of due diligence if we do not give councillors the chance to see the site.”

Danny Parkinson-Witte, of Richborough Estates, said: “We are, of course, disappointed the decision has been deferred.

“We understand that questions have been raised with regards to flooding risk in the area by local residents.

“We fully appreciate these concerns and would like to reiterate that the proposed development and its drainage strategy will not increase flood risk.”

The Lowlands planning committee is next due to meet at the district council’s office in Woodgreen, Witney, on March 17.