A VITAL part of a council’s plan for thousands of homes could be ditched over worries that infrastructure supporting it might not be built.

South Oxfordshire District Council wants to build 3,000 homes at Chalgrove Airfield as part of its Local Plan, which it wants to submit in June.

But Oxfordshire County Council fears £90m mooted for highways infrastructure is only about half it understood would be pledged for the scheme.

It has warned that pursuing with Chalgrove Airfield project could render the Local Plan unsound.

Adrian Duffield, South Oxfordshire’s head of planning, wrote to a Government agency saying the authority has been ‘disappointed’ in the amount of money currently designated for the project and worried there had been a ‘mismatch in expectations’.

He added that ‘there has certainly been a great deal of expectation locally of a much greater offer’ to provide the infrastructure.

Hundreds of residents have said they are opposed to the development, along with a major international company which had previously agreed a deal that it could occupy the airfield land until 2063.

Martin-Baker, the leading ejector seat manufacturer, has so far defied any approach from the land’s owner, Homes England, to give it up early.

Meanwhile, Homes England has threatened that it could compulsorily purchase the land to force the development through anyway.

South Oxfordshire’s cabinet will be asked to keep Chalgrove Airfield as an option for housing – but then look for another site as a back-up in case any development is delayed or fails entirely.

Or, as part of three possibilities, it could ditch Chalgrove Airfield and seek to replace it with an alternative.

These two options could resurrect a plan for 3,500 homes at Grenoble Road, south of Oxford, previously rejected by South Oxfordshire but backed by Oxford City Council, Thames Water and Magdalen College, which owns the site.

Alternatively, the third choice would mean the cabinet could choose to battle on with the current Local Plan regardless.

Any change to the proposed Local Plan would require approval from a full meeting of South Oxfordshire.

Last week South Oxfordshire's leader, John Cotton, resigned as leader of its Conservative group. He has been an advocate of the Local Plan but could face a challenge from within his party for the council's top elected post soon.

The cabinet will meet on Tuesday from 9am.