A CONTROVERSIAL development on the edge of Wallingford has been granted outline planning permission.

The development, by not-for-profit company CABI, includes a 64-bed care home, 49 extra care flats, 56 retirement flats, a community centre, and new company offices.

The project was given outline planning permission by South Oxfordshire District Council on January 27.

CABI’s current offices in Nosworthy Way would be bulldozed as part of the scheme.

Permission was granted despite a campaign to stop the development.

Dozens of residents launched an opposition group and wrote to the council to try and halt the scheme.

Benson Lane resident Simon Switala wrote: “Don’t destroy what countryside we have around here.”

Another comment added: “We love this area. Please don’t urbanise it. Other developers will follow.”

Wallingford Town Council supported the scheme.

Mayor of Wallingford Bernard Stone said: “We have been very supportive of their plans because they [CABI] operate worldwide and it is incredible some of the things they do.”

CABI facilities manager Tony Cross said: “We are very pleased. The plans give us the opportunity to build a sustainable future.

“The care village is helping us fund our new offices. The aim is to get the new offices built first because the building we have is very inefficient.”

CABI uses scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment, particularly in poverty-stricken places.

It is now looking for developers interested in building the retirement village.