A PLAN to build a new town of 3,000 homes on the site of an old airfield has been submitted for approval.

Homes England has submitted a planning application to South Oxfordshire District Council which gives an outline for what it wants to build at Chalgrove Airfield.

Alongside the 3,000 homes, there are plans for a new town centre with shops and offices, as well as two primary schools, a secondary school and a sixth form college.

Out of the homes. 1,200 of them will be affordable, which means they will be either social housing or sold at 80 per cent of market value.

The agency is also preparing to build bypasses around the village to allow for the increased levels of traffic stemming from the new homes.

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The site is earmarked for development in South Oxfordshire District Council's Local Plan, which is due to be considered by government inspectors in a series of public meetings in July.

It is the only strategic site out of seven in the draft Local Plan which is not on Green Belt land: countryside which has never been built on before.

The site is owned by Homes England, and part of it is leased to Martin-Baker, an aerospace company which is one of the largest manufacturers of ejector seats in the world.

Homes England has said it wants to work with Martin-Baker so the firm has a place at the site in the future, and has reserved 48 per cent of Chalgrove Airfield for the company.

However, talks with the firm about its use of the site broke down last year, and Homes England has said it will consider compulsory purchases as a last resort.

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Chalgrove Airfield

Ken Glendinning, project director at Homes England said: “This development will support South Oxfordshire District Council to meet the unmet housing need of the area at the same time as protecting the Green Belt and safeguarding local jobs.

“We will continue to engage with the local residents and seek an agreement with our tenant, Martin-Baker Aircraft Company Limited.”

The scheme has been met with criticism from locals in the past, some of whom are concerned that the huge new development will dwarf the existing village of Chalgrove.

And Paul Boone, chairman of Chalgrove Airfield Action Group has previously criticised Homes England's consultation process.

Last year, Mr Boone said the agency had not listened to suggestions from the community, but had 'carried on regardless'.

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Part of the reason Homes England wants to build at Chalgrove is to tackle the national housing crisis on a local level.

In South Oxfordshire, the average house price is roughly 11 times the median annual salary as of 2019 according to the Office for National Statistics.

This has risen from nearly six times the annual median salary in 1999.

Figures for other districts in the county are comparable.

The South Oxfordshire District Council Local Plan was originally due to be approved last October, but the Lib Dem-Green coalition which leads the council wanted to throw it out and start again.

This was because of concerns about building on Green Belt land, and also that sites like Chalgrove would result in too many new homes in one place.

But in February, the government's housing secretary Robert Jenrick told the council it needs to adopt the new Local Plan by December, or lose its powers over planning.