A GOVERNMENT agency will once again ask for residents' views on a controversial plan that could see 3,000 homes built on an airfield in South Oxfordshire.

More than 1,000 residents have already signed petitions opposing any development at Chalgrove Airfield – although Homes England, which owns the site, will return to get views on two days this month.

As the Oxford Mail has previously reported, Homes England has already spent £1.8m on the project, which might not get the go-ahead from South Oxfordshire District Council.

Paul Boone, opponent to the development and chairman of the Chalgrove Airfield Action Group, said: "If I was being really, really cynical I would say they have got a few pounds in the budget left to spend. Generally, I think they are trying to keep it in the public eye."

It had been a critical part of the authority's provisional Local Plan – which outlines where it wants to build housing development until 2033 – but following a change in leader, the council said it wants to reconsider all 15 potential sites for major housing developments.

But it remains unclear whether the Government will support the move, which could run over a deadline for all local authorities' Local Plans in the £215m Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal. That was signed by Oxfordshire council leaders and housing minister Dominic Raab in March.

Any building on the site is not supported by Oxfordshire County Council because transport infrastructure funding currently offered is just half of the £190m it said is needed.

Also, the site's current tenant, internationally successful ejector seat manufacturer Martin-Baker, said it has no intention to move from the site until its lease is up in 2063.

Homes England has said that if Martin-Baker resists any offers to move from the site, it could use compulsory purchase powers it to force it off.

Agency staff will visit Chalgrove on July 13 and July 14 to measure people's opinions.

It will also launch a website for it on July 16.

On its Chalgrove Airfield website, run by consultants Carter Jonas, Homes England states: "South Oxfordshire must find room for more than 17,000 new homes by 2033, and we are committed to supporting its aspirations to meet this need.

"As a large, previously developed site, it is right that the potential for Chalgrove Airfield to provide space for new homes and business is explored."

If SODC does not select Chalgrove Airfield to build on, alternatives include a new settlement off the M40, Harrington, or homes at Wick Farm, near Barton. Its other proposed sites for major building currently include Culham, Wheatley and Berinsfield.

Samantha Marlow, spokeswoman for South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We are continuing to work to the approach agreed by the council to ensure we’re in the best possible position to produce a ‘sound’ and robust Local Plan, which includes assessment work looking in more detail at the available strategic housing sites.

"We are in contact with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and have updated partner agencies, who are part of the Oxfordshire Growth Board.”

The events will take place on Friday, July 13 from 4pm until 8pm at Chalgrove Village Hall and on Saturday, July 14 from 10am until 2pm at Chalgrove Community Hall