Villagers in Leicestershire have vowed to fight council plans to build thousands of new homes in their area.
People living in Barkby, Barkby Thorpe and Thurmaston fear their way of life will change if proposals by Charnwood Borough Council get the go ahead.
The council needs to find space for 10,000 new homes in Charnwood and land east of Thurmaston appears to be a favoured location for development.
Residents have now formed an action group to challenge the plans.
A public consultation on proposals ended last week.
Many residents worry the houses will damage the villages' character and overstretch local services.
Owen Bentley, chairman of the newly-formed Barkby and Barkby Thorpe Parishes Action Group, said: "What really worries us is the scale of the development, it's virtually a new town the size of Syston.
"This is a wonderful little rural enclave - a piece of old Leicestershire."
Mr Bentley said: "If this goes ahead the whole of the development will ruin the environment here, which is really marked by its farm and agricultural land."
Charnwood Borough Council said it is has not made any decisions on where the development will be.
Councillor Richard Shepherd said: "There's a lot more investigation that needs to be done.
"Nothing is yet decided - there were a number of sites put out for consultation, we want to look at all the consultation responses".