A DEVELOPER has criticised plans for a Government-backed ‘garden village’ in West Oxfordshire as it continues to promote its own 3,000-home alternative.

In January this year the Government offered its backing to plans to build a 2,200 home garden village near Eynsham to help West Oxfordshire support Oxford with its housing need.

Shortly after, Gladman Developments revealed its own alternative garden village proposal for land off the A40 at Barnard Gate.

In promoting its vision for 3,000 homes, the developer has warned the Government-backed plans would fail to become a standalone settlement – a feature it argues only its Barnard Gate proposal can offer.

Gladman spokeswoman Danielle Bassi said: “We consider that the Barnard Gate garden village is a standalone settlement which offers a far better alternative to the garden village proposals north of Eynsham, which would function as a large extension to the existing village.

"It is also notable that the Eynsham proposal would be built around a concrete recycling plant and would have to overcome significant ecological and heritage constraints.”

Responding to some of the negative responses the Barnard Gate plans have been receiving, particularly from areas like the nearby village of South Leigh, Ms Bassi said Gladman had received a great deal of public support at recent consultation events.

Ms Bassi continued: “We recognise that new development can affect communities in a number of different ways and the recent consultation events that took place in South Leigh and Eynsham, as well as the unmanned boards in Witney, represented a chance for local residents to directly engage and influence the shape of this exciting opportunity to create a new sustainable Garden Village.

“We were pleased by the level of response from residents who attended the exhibition and left comments.

"Many saw the advantages of Barnard Gate garden village, with a significant number considering our scheme was preferable to the alternative proposals to extend Eynsham."

In its vision statement, Gladman suggests Barnard Gate could help West Oxfordshire take its share of Oxford’s unmet housing need.

But the original garden village backed by the Government had already been put forward to contribute towards the 2,750 homes the district must build to help the city.

The proposals from Gladman, which has not yet submitted a formal planning application, also include a science or business park, two new primary schools, a medical centre and pharmacy, play areas and improvements to the A40.

No formal plans have yet been submitted for the alternative scheme either.

Residents, however, suspect that Gladman intends to include a high density of housing and leave services to a minimum.

Representatives from Gladman will attend a parish council meeting in South Leigh in the village hall at 7.30pm on September 27.