Villagers and tourists are waging war with a developer wanting to build on fields in the picturesque village where ITV’s hit series Home Fires is filmed.
The Rural Housing Trust has submitted plans to build 11 houses on land at Bowe’s Gate Road in Bunbury, the Cheshire village which doubles as Great Paxford in the wartime drama.
One resident told how villagers had at first thought it was a joke when they heard of the plans.
And they have warned the development company it can expect to come under fire from all angles as fans of the Second World War drama join visitors and villagers in their fight to preserve the local beauty spot.
Rod France, of the Friends of Higher Bunbury Action Group, said: “Residents initially didn’t take it seriously as they believed any application such as this, adjoining the conservation area, would not be taken seriously and be rejected out of hand.
“Basically we thought it was a joke that anything like this could get past the drawing board, let alone go to planning.”
About 260 people have written to Cheshire East Council opposing the scheme which is earmarked for the boundary of the Higher Bunbury conservation area directly between two of its most popular tourist attractions, Bunbury Water Mill and St Boniface Church.
Many of the objectors are from outside the local area, several visit the village on a regular basis.
Mr France said: “It’s not just something for the villagers. We are the guardians of this site for future generations to come.
“This is a local beauty spot with magnificent views threatened by inappropriate development including executive ‘teletubby’ houses.
“The conservation area is known as the ‘Crowning Glory of Higher Bunbury’. Why build here?”
He said the development would also threaten wildlife as well as tourism.
“The tourist potential of Home Fires has not been lost on the Cheshire tourist board. Visit Cheshire and Discover Cheshire tourist sites feature Bunbury prominently in their Cheshire Home Fires promotions,” said Mr France.
“This has resulted in a dramatic rise in visitors to the area from all over the country. These numbers will surely increase further, with the recent announcement of a second series of Home Fires to be filmed.”
For more information about the application visit the Cheshire East website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk and search for planning number 15/1666N.