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About Chalgrove Airfield

Chalgrove Airfield is a former World War II aerodrome near Chalgrove, South Oxfordshire. It was transferred to Homes England from the Ministry of Defence in 2016.

Who are Homes England?

Homes England is the UK Government’s housing accelerator, and our mission is to intervene in the housing market to ensure more homes are built in areas of greatest need, and to improve affordability.

As a Government Agency, Homes England has a range of mechanisms that can assist in the delivery of new sustainable communities. We can act in places where the market is not meeting demand, where multiple developers are unable to agree on a shared approach or where the cost of up front infrastructure deters the private sector.

We have access upfront infrastructure funding to make sure the appropriate facilities are in place to support the new homeowners and the existing surrounding communities. We also improve productivity of housing projects, and maximise housing delivery.

Homes England has a track record of delivering homes and the necessary supporting infrastructure on similarly complex sites, including 10,000 homes in Northstowe in Cambridgeshire and 3,500 homes at The Northern Arc at Burgess Hill in West Sussex.

Homes England is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

History and background

Located to the north of Chalgrove Village, Chalgrove Airfield was a former World War II airfield, which ceased military operations in 1946.

Opened in 1943, Chalgrove Airfield was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War, primarily as a combat reconnaissance airfield. Since 1946, the Airfield has been leased to Martin-Baker Aircraft Co. Ltd, the world’s leading manufacturer of ejection seats and safety-related equipment for aviation.

In 2016, Homes England acquired the airfield after it was identified as being surplus to operational requirements following a strategic review of the Defence Estate.

Originally the Airfield had three operational runways and a number of hangers and aircraft dispersal pads. These have been gradually reduced and there is now only one Civil Aviation Authority licensed runway.

Homes England will use the site to deliver a new sustainable 21st Century market town and is included in the adopted South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2034.

Martin Baker Aircraft Co Ltd

Homes England is committed to supporting this important company to ensure their life-saving work can continue long into the future. We are exploring options for moving or adapting the existing runway to allow Martin Baker’s operations to continue, without adverse effects on the new community.

Where is Chalgrove?

Chalgrove Airfield is located immediately to the north of the existing village of Chalgrove in South Oxfordshire, northeast of the B480 and approximately 13 km to the east of central Oxford.

It is located within the heart of South Oxfordshire, close to a number of existing communities and is also relatively well located in relation to nearby employment areas and transport links. The Airfield is outside of the Green Belt and away from other environmentally sensitive areas.

What is the vision for Chalgrove Airfield?

We will deliver a new 21st Century town over the next 15 years that will be connected, active and diverse, including:

  • 3,000 new homes (40% affordable)
  • 2 primary schools
  • 1 secondary school including a sixth form college with sports pitches
  • Business-use space
  • A new town centre with shops, leisure spaces, cultural spaces
  • Public open spaces including playing fields, parks, gardens, allotments, civic spaces, play areas
  • Traveller pitches
  • Fully ‘walkable’ neighbourhood with cycle paths and walking routes
  • Two new bypasses at Stadhampton / Chiselhampton and Cuxham
  • Provision of a new runway for the continued operations of Martin-Baker Aircraft Co

The Chalgrove market town will offer much needed affordable housing, a town centre with the facilities local residents will need for day-to-day living, alongside new community facilities and open spaces that will celebrate its rural setting and heritage.

Chalgrove Airfield will meet local housing need and improve access to employment, community facilities and local services for local residents. We have developed our plans in consultation with the local community and stakeholders and they have been independently reviewed by BOBMK Design Review Panel.

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