Thursday, 09 December 2021

New plans for homes at airfield due in new year

REVISED plans for 3,000 new homes at Chalgrove Airfield will be submitted for approval early next year.

Homes England, a government agency which owns the site, said it would address concerns raised with its original planning application to redevelop the site, which was withdrawn in May.

A spokesman said: “We are positively engaged with the Civil Aviation Authority, the Environment Agency and Oxfordshire County Council and we are working towards agreeing a revised strategy for the scheme in 2022. As part of the revised strategy, we will bring forward a comprehensive and detailed package of works, including the delivery of new roads and junction improvements at Cuxham, Stadhampton and Chiselhampton that will meet the requirements of the South Oxfordshire local plan and create early benefits for the local community and key stakeholders.

“Homes England remains committed to the development, which will address the immediate housing needs and bring significant investment to the wider area.

“We will provide further updates in early 2022, including the proposed phasing of the development.” Earlier this year, the Civil Aviation Authority wrote to South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, saying it had “very significant concerns” about the proposal.

It also said the land could not become a housing development and remain a testing site for ejector seat manufacturer Martin-Baker, which has a lease from Homes England until 2063. The original plans were for a “new town” with two primary schools, a secondary school, sixth-form college, shops, a healthcare hub, community and leisure facilities and 40,000 sq m of employment space.

Watlington and Benson parish councils were among 22 which objected. The councils said they would be “materially affected” by the development, which would increase the population of Chalgrove from 2,700 to 9,800.

The objectors say the airfield is not suitable for development because there is a lack of road infrastructure in the area to support the increase in traffic.

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