A DEVELOPMENT could bring hundreds of affordable homes, with some reserved for NHS staff working in Oxford, if a council picks it as part of a housing plan.

South Oxfordshire District Council’s Local Plan, which looks to build on contentious sites at Chalgrove Airfield and Culham, was rejected by councillors last week.

Developers Berkeley Strategic contacted the council last week to offer up an alternative site at Wick Farm if Chalgrove Airfield, where 3,000 homes are currently planned, is ditched in the future.

Wick Farm sits next to Barton Park and would consist of about 1,400 homes. It has been touted as a possible site since at least 2015.

Berkeley’s managing director Adrian Brown said 200 homes would be affordable and exclusively for people working at the John Radcliffe, Churchill and Nuffield Hospitals.

Mr Brown said its location would mean many trips could be made by walking, cycling and public transport rather than relying on cars.

He said: “Berkeley has a proven track record of building communities and delivering high quality mixed use development. Should an allocation be forthcoming, we are absolutely committed to delivering the site in full.”

He added: “Wick Farm is sustainable, deliverable and has a limited impact on the wider Oxfordshire landscape.”

Erroneously, he states that the Chalgrove Airfield site is now ‘unavailable’, but said the Wick Farm represents ‘the best option [to] address the pressing issues facing Oxfordshire’s hospitals.’

He concedes that the land is currently part of the Green Belt but said the possible benefits would mean ‘there are exceptional circumstances that would justify development’.

Building on the Green Belt is likely to be less popular with local authorities, following a speech by the Prime Minister last month.

Theresa May said: ‘The answer to our housing crisis does not lie in tearing up the Green Belt’, and announced the Government wants to maintain strong protections on it.

As part of that, Mrs May said authorities would only be able to amend the boundaries if they have ‘fully explored every other reasonable option for building the homes their community needs.’

The Culham plan would develop part of the Green Belt.

Chalgrove Airfield is a controversial site. Martin-Baker, the ejector seat manufacturer, is based there and has previously been told by landowner Homes England it can stay there until 2063.

But Homes England now wants to use the land to allow SODC to build 3,000 homes – and has said it could use a compulsory purchase order to get its way.

It has also said it would spend millions on infrastructure – but the county council has said money currently offered for transport infrastructure would be insufficient.