THE owner of housing developer says Blockley residents should not be resistant to new housing being built, after residents vowed to fight their latest planning application.

Campaigners from the Blockley Environment Action Group (BEAG) have fought previously to stop proposed development in fear that the village would lose its identity through over development.

And campaigners have said they will now attempt to block Bellpark developer's latest application for five homes on land off Park Road, as they did in 2017, as they fear it is "a preparatory stage of a larger, up to 38 houses, scheme to build on the whole field, by setting a precedent to justify development at this location."

A statement from BEAG said: "Yet another proposal to develop a part of the field opposite the Park Road terraces has been submitted.

"It’s important that our community writes to object - as many of you as possible please.

"This application is an odd fish; a similar scheme was refused in June 2017 with very clear and still relevant reasons. Since then Cotswold District adopted its new Local Plan.

"That plan shows this application flies in the face of planning policy which the Local Planning Authority should follow unless there is exceptional justification for doing otherwise.

"The layout, light impact and design form of the buildings is inappropriate in this location.

"The provision of luxury houses, almost three times the national average size, does not meet any priority housing need in Blockley. Development here will change the very character of an historic village."

And Ian Cook, a Blockley resident, added: "Whilst we are not opposed to the village evolving organically, we are very much against this proposed development on this an historic site.

"The proposed development is too large for this small community. The negative visual impact on this unspoiled area of the Cotswolds would be impossible to reverse or minimise."

But Daniel Parkinson, from Bellpark, stressed the development was sympathetic to the area, and was much needed housing appropriate to the location.

Mr Parkinson said: "Blockley residents have resisted development over a number of years while other areas in the Cotswolds, like Moreton and Stow-on-the-Water, have taken on development.

"The local plan states there should be 60 to 65 dwellings by 2031.

"As a developer we are more than happy to sit down with residents and discuss their fears and concerns. But it seems to me they are not willing to compromise or listen.

"Whatever we propose, it will be resisted. The area is crying out for affordable homes.

"We have new architects now (Harwood Architects) - they specialise in rural design. What we propose is to give it a look of renovated farm buildings, and coveted outbuildings.

"I want it to blend in with what is currently there, and not stick out like a sore thumb.

"There is a community benefit with the extension of a school playground.

"We are asking this time a decision is made by a planning committee and not a delegated one like last time - so there is a democratic decision."

The application can be viewed on Cotswold District Council's website, searching for application number 18/04197/FUL.