TWO West Oxfordshire villages faced with major development have raised fierce objection to the respective plans - but the homes must go somewhere.

A consultation on parts of West Oxfordshire District Council’s Local Plan – which outlines development across the district until 2031 – reached its conclusion earlier this month.

As a result, two community groups faced with the prospect of major 'garden village' developments - in Eynsham and South Leigh - have stepped up the fight against the plans.

Eynsham Planning Improvement Campaign (EPIC) has long raised its objections to the council and Government-backed plans for a 2,200-home garden village near Eynsham.

The group has warned that, alongside other earmarked sites in the area, Eynsham will be faced with 3,200 extra homes, an amount it claims is too much for any village to bear.

Nicky Chambers, chairwoman of EPIC, said: “West Oxfordshire is not listening to Eynsham.

“We need affordable houses but why does all Oxford’s unmet housing needs have to be built in Eynsham? The plan is fundamentally flawed.”

She and the rest of the group believe it is unfair to lump one town or village with all of Oxford’s unmet housing need.

The district council, however, which recently considered alternatives, reasserted its decision to back the plans near Eynsham.

Recently, Jeff Haine, the cabinet member for planning, defended the plans and said the Government backing would allow the council to access funds to improve transport links, including the A40, as well as provide ‘much-needed- new homes.’

Elsewhere in South Leigh, near the site of an ‘alternative’ garden village proposal of more than 3,000 homes by Gladman, residents are fearful for similar reasons.

Gladman has said it has an advantage over the Government-backed garden village in that the proposed land has a single landowner willing to progress and that it can contribute to future A40 improvements.

It also claims that due to the isolation from nearby towns and villages, it can become a settlement with its own identity and not an extension of other areas.

Residents of South Leigh, however, feel differently, and an action group has formed in response to the plans.

Action group member Amanda Howard said: “Such is the strength of feeling that over a third of households wrote passionate letters to WODC against Gladman's proposal and in support of WODC's Local Plan."