It’s been a while since our last newsletter as we’ve been working hard behind the scenes on our proposals. We know that there’s a lot of interest in this project, and we wanted to get back in touch now that we have more information. This newsletter will give you an update on what we have been doing, what’s due to happen next, and a timeframe for achieving this.
Becoming Homes England
We’ve relaunched as Homes England. As part of this, our remit has been widened. We now bring together land, money, expertise, and planning and compulsory purchase powers, with a clear remit to facilitate delivery of sufficient new homes, where they are most needed, to deliver a sustained improvement in affordability.
Delivering the right infrastructure to support these new homes is a key part of our role. As a Government body, we have access to funds to allow us to deliver infrastructure in the early stages of development.
What have we been working on?
Over the past year, we’ve been busy gathering additional information about the area, talking to stakeholders and working up plans ready for public consultation. This has included discussions with South Oxfordshire District Council, Oxfordshire County Council, health and education providers, parish councils and a range of stakeholders to ensure we’re supporting development at Chalgrove Airfield in the right way.
We’ve also carried out further detailed environmental and transport assessments, which help us build up a picture of background conditions in the area. The proposals we present for the site will be informed by this work.
We know how important it is for new housing to be supported by the right infrastructure and amenities. We’ve committed more than £200 million to delivering infrastructure in support of the scheme. We want to ensure that any impact on local roads as a result of a development at Chalgrove Airfield is more than catered for by major investment and improvements to the surrounding highways network.
This includes highways schemes at Stadhampton, Chiselhampton, Cuxham, Watlington and Benson, as well as provision of improved public transport. It also includes a new secondary school, two primary schools and a medical centre at the site.
Adapting to the needs of existing airfield stakeholders
You may be aware that Homes England has been negotiating with the tenant of the Chalgrove Airfield, Martin-Baker Aircraft Company Ltd over the last year. We are the freehold owner of the airfield, so we’ve been talking to the business about the best way
to allow development of the site while allowing the business to continue.
We have proposed taking control of the whole site, and providing 130 acres to Martin-Baker Aircraft Company Limited, including a brand new runway as part of
this arrangement. This would allow for the business
to remain open throughout the development period, safeguard all current jobs and operations, and allow for the company’s future growth at the site.
We’ve yet to come to a voluntary arrangement with Martin-Baker Aircraft Company Ltd. As a last resort, we may seek to use to use compulsory purchase powers to enable development at the site.
What’s happening next?
We would like to work with local people to discuss our emerging proposals and to develop the right scheme for the site and area as a whole. Our next step will be to hold a public consultation on our emerging proposals.
As part of this, we are inviting local people to two consultation events:
Friday 13 July 2018 – 1600-2000 at Chalgrove Village Hall, Baronshurst Dr, Chalgrove, Oxford OX44 7TE
Saturday 14 July 2018 – 1000-1400 at Chalgrove Community Hall, High Street, Chalgrove, OX44 7ST
At the events, you’ll be able to find out more about our proposals, meet with the project team and ask questions, and share your views. We’ll also make information about the consultation available on the project website.
Following the consultation, we’ll consider all the comments we receive and work up detailed proposals. These will be included in a planning application in autumn 2018.