VILLAGERS are urging councillors to reject major housing plans today over fears of harming ‘historically important’ land in north Oxfordshire.

Plans will be put to councillors this afternoon for 84 homes to be built off Merton Road in Ambrosden, near Bicester, on a site known historically as Ambrosden Park.

But residents say that, along with the historical harm, the already busy Merton Road will not be able to cope with the development and fear someone could be seriously injured if more traffic was created.

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Other concerns include a lack of infrastructure, such as new schools and transport, to cope with an increased population.

Ambrosden Parish Council chairman Mark Longworth said: “A large number of residents have written letters of objection, however we are dismayed that Oxfordshire County Council has no objections to the proposals despite the site being 1,000m from the closest bus stop, Five Acres school being at capacity with no plans to expand, no proposals to introduce traffic calming or change the speed limits on Merton Road, and insufficient footways into the village which reduce in width to 61cm.”

The plans attracted 15 letters of objection but as consultees only Ambrosden Parish Council objected.

In Oxfordshire County Council’s response officers raised no objections, but said archaeological deposits from the former post medieval Ambrosden Park, which contained a number of lakes, could still exist and should be investigated.

It also advised plans should include a contribution to road improvements and bus routes on Ploughley Road to mitigate traffic problems.

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Despite this, Cherwell District Council officers have recommended the plans for refusal for being excessive, unnecessary, and without the necessary infrastructure to mitigate highway safety concerns.

But a report submitted by applicants Gladman Developments said: "The results indicate that there will be no significant traffic impact as a result of the development proposals."

It argues the development will ‘be a positive addition to Ambrosden complementing the character of the surrounding area in terms of scale, density, character and quality.”

It will be put to Cherwell District Council today in Banbury at 4pm.