Residents in the Cornish village of Lelant have launched a campaign to oppose the building of more than 20 homes in a farmer's field.
They fear the new development on the road to Carbis Bay – and one for 15 homes on the other side of the busy arterial route to St Ives – could lead to Lelant being swallowed up by its bigger neighbours.
Where Carbis Bay ends and St Ives begins is almost indistinguishable after decades of creeping development and residents of Lelant – a village since 1170 – fear the same fate.
They also say that new housing behind homes on Tyringham Road should be blocked because the site is a greenfield near an Site of Special Scientific Interest – the wild bird habitat at Lelant Saltings.
Many feel Lelant cannot cope with these 21 homes or the 15 opposite that were given approval in June after an appeal to HM Planning Inspector.
The village has no shop, school or GP and Tyringham Action Group, which has launched a website as well as Twitter and Facebook pages, says it cannot take any more people.
However, the landowner seeking outline planning permission for the 21-home development, farmer Patrick McCotter, says he is simply trying to help people buy homes where they live.
His application is for 13 affordable homes and eight more expensive ones on the seaward side of Tyringham Road. Mr McCotter, a resident of Lelant for 25 years and a vet in Hayle, said the protesters do not represent the feelings of people he has spoken to in the village.
He said: "I have been approached by young people, and some older people, who were born and bred in Lelant, who cannot afford a house here and want to stay in the village. That's the main reason for what I'm doing. I've gone through all the requirements, a bird survey and a flood survey, I've done all the right things.
"I want to build these houses for everyone in Lelant. And I am giving everyone in Tyringham Road the chance to have off-road parking where I build. I want affordable houses for people who were born in Lelant."
More than 60 people have lodged objections to the plan on the Cornwall Council planning website.
Paul Woodward, spokesman for Tyringham Action Group, said: "This will adversely affect the character of our ancient village.
"Lelant has no infrastructure. It has no shop and no school, no health facilities.
"The site is also 500m away from a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
"We fear that it may also herald more development, with Carbis Bay expanding towards Lelant and the two encroaching on each other, losing the embarkation line between them and becoming a sprawl."