BOSSES behind plans for a new town in the Oxfordshire countryside say the Government is ready to spend more than £100m on transport and infrastructure.

David Warburton, of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), said 3,500 homes at Chalgrove Airfield could be served by new roads to the M40 and a guided busway into Oxford.

His comments came after council chiefs warned the development would cause traffic chaos due to its "remote" location.

It has been proposed to help meet housing demand in the city, prompting fears it will lead to thousands of extra commuters on the roads.

But in an interview with the Oxford Mail, Mr Warburton rejected the claims, adding: "This site is being taken forward by the Government and we are clear the cost of necessary infrastructure could be significantly in excess of £100m.

"It is technically possible to address the transport issues. We know what we are getting into."

The HCA took ownership of the airfield site from the Ministry of Defence in July and wants it to be earmarked for housing in South Oxfordshire District Council's new Local Plan.

It faces opposition from Oxfordshire County Council, which is predicting "highly likely, severe transport implications", but Mr Warburton said said traffic would worsen "wherever development happens in South Oxfordshire".

Like the HCA development at the former RAF Oakfield site, near Cambridge, he said the airfield could be directly linked with Oxford by a new "rapid" bus system with its own tracks.

This could get passengers from Chalgrove to Oxford in 20 minutes, with the route possibly extending to Watlington.

Officials are also considering major improvements to roads connecting the airfield to the M40, such as the A329 and the B480, or entirely new ones.

And a 'superbus' link of highly regular services would go west to science campuses at Culham, Harwell and Milton.

Mr Warburton said: "We have got some of the best transport engineers in the country working on this."

The scheme could also "downgrade" the B480 passing the village so it could become a new high street, with through-traffic diverted down a new road.

Mr Warburton added: "We are committed to doing this scheme with the community and are happy for it to be open to scrutiny.

"What we want to deliver here is not a dormitory housing estate but rather a new community built on the best traditions, with the right facilities and the latest technology."

South Oxfordshire District Council leader John Cotton said no decision had been made yet on Chalgrove, but the local authority has said it is the "preferred site".

He added: "As we have said all along, the transport issue is absolutely key.

"If the site cannot generate the funds needed for improvements then we would expect the Government to pick up the shortfall."

But David Turner, district councillor for Chalgrove, said the entire scheme would be "a gross misuse of taxpayers' money".

He said: "The whole situation simply beggars belief.

"The reason this has been proposed is to help solve Oxford's housing problem but the site is miles away from the city and its facilities.

"The community is wholeheartedly of the view this would be a disaster for Chalgrove."