'INCONSIDERATE' builders on a controversial 260-home development in Witney are impacting the lives of neighbours on a 'daily basis'.

Residents have complained about dust and noise since construction of Kingfisher Meadows, on Burford Road, began last March.

The development was approved on appeal in 2016 after councillors refused an application two years earlier, following concerns around the site's environmental impact.

Residents formed the Windrush Valley Protection Group (WVPG) to fight the plans and many campaigners still live nearby.

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Alison Smallman, a member of the group, runs Hawthorn House Bed & Breakfast opposite the site and claims the development had been a constant nuisance.

She said: "We were always against the building because it took away our view.

"Local people have had to put up with the dust and mud every single day.

"Because of having a business with guests, I'm having to dust at least once a day.

"I've contacted the site manager but they don't seem bothered - they don't care about us.

"All we wanted was for us to be considered and they've done anything but."

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Ms Smallman said builders regularly worked at unsociable hours, a concern shared by other neighbours. Lewis Owens, another member of the WVPG, lives next to Kingfisher Meadows with his family and said neighbours were against the site for a 'host of reasons'.

He added: "There's been dust flying about left, right and centre.

"The noise has been starting early in the morning and finishing late at night."

Residents' chief concerns with the site include its close proximity to the nearby Flogas plant, where liquefied petroleum gas is stored.

The development lies near the River Windrush in an area prone to flooding, while there were fears over the impact on the landscape and wildlife.

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A WVPG petition against the plans amassed 2,500 signatures, before the application was rejected by West Oxfordshire District Council in 2014.

Developers, Gladman, appealed and the case eventually went to then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, now the Home Secretary.

The application was approved and the site later bought by David Wilson Homes, which opened show homes in January.

An official VIP opening was due to be held on Thursday, but this was cancelled due to 'other commitments'.

Witney mayor, Brenda Churchill, turned down an invitation to cut the ribbon on the development as the opening fell during the pre-election purdah period.

Kingfisher Meadows is in the ward of district councillor for Witney Central, Andrew Coles, who said: "There remains a great deal of anger and disappointment over the government's decision to give the go-ahead for the development particularly when the whole community was united in its opposition.

"People are still upset with Mr Javid's decision and angry that our then MP, and Prime Minister at the time, didn't intervene and speak up for his constituents.

"With the serious fire last summer in West End we saw again the dangers of building residential properties so close to highly flammable industrial sites."

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But a David Wilson Homes spokesperson insisted the housebuilder had taken account of environmental concerns.

They said: “The Health and Safety Executive’s Consultation Zone around the gas plant was fully considered throughout the planning process and the new homes are being constructed in accordance with the planning permission.

"No homes are being constructed within the small area of the site affected by flooding.

"Through our partnership with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) as at all of our developments, we are implementing wildlife friendly features including hedgehog highways between gardens.”

Responding to residents' complaints, the spokesperson added: “The development has a Construction and Environmental Management plan which has been approved by the local authority to minimise the effects of construction on the surrounding area.

"We are ensuring that we follow this, as well as our sub-contractors on site.

“We are grateful to local residents for their patience and understanding whilst necessary works are underway.”