CAMPAIGNERS have said they ‘won’t be silenced’ following the theft of signs objecting to a new farm-based activity centre near Culham.

Save Culham Green Belt, which also opposes the building of 3,500 homes close to the village, put up the banners and posters to highlight concerns about traffic generated by the tourist attraction, which could reach 160,000 visitors per year.

A Culham resident, who did not want to be named, said they saw a woman in her 20s jump out of a dark grey or black pick up van and take down laminated posters created by campaigners from lampposts on High Street on Wednesday.

They added: “It took three seconds so they knew what they were looking for.”

Save the Green Belt chairman Caroline Baird said: “This is the second time it has happened within two weeks and we’ve reported both cases to police.

“We’ve had signs stolen from private land on Thame Lane as well which is completely unacceptable.

“We are perfectly within our rights to let people know what is happening and we won’t be silenced.”

On January 28, signs were also taken from three spots along the A415, near the Culham traffic lights, at the entrance to Culham Court, and at the junction with Burycroft.

Currently called ‘Project Swift’, the activity centre, which is to be located at Culham Hill, will feature a nature trail, pond dipping and animal displays, as well as cycle trails and a small camping area for around 10 to 12 tents, with the spot described as for glamping.

A change of use application from agricultural land to farm park was submitted to Vale of White Horse District Council in December.

The plans reveal the site will be open to visitors from 10am to 5pm, although this is likely to be extended to 6pm at weekends and during the summer holidays. Access is initially intended to be via Thame Lane.

Gemma Barclay, who lives on High Street, Culham,wrote in an online objection: “There is absolutely no way that the roads will be able to cope with the increased volumes of traffic.

“The number of cars and lorries on the road is already horrendous and this will significantly exacerbate the problem.”

Nick Laister, operational director for RPS Planning & Development, which prepared the planning application, said a full traffic assessment had been carried out, adding: "We are sympathetic however to resident’s concerns over traffic and we wish to assure them that we will work proactively with the Highway Authority to ensure appropriate traffic management is delivered as part of our farm park proposal" The deadline to submit comments is today, with a target decision date of March 21.