We have received notification that Homes England has withdrawn their application for outline planning permission for Chalgrove Airfield.
The primary reason for this is due to the objections and technical issues raised by the Airfield Advisory Team. The AAT (a new team set up within the Civil Aviation Authority) has been very clear with its condemnation of the plans at the airfield, not least because of safety concerns and the essential operations of Martin Baker.
Whilst we welcome this news, our fight continues. Homes England have issued the following statement:
“The outline planning application for the development of Chalgrove Airfield has been withdrawn to allow an amended application to be submitted to take account of comments from the Civil Aviation Authority’s Airfield Advisory Team. This reflects Homes England’s commitment to safeguarding Martin Baker’s operations at Chalgrove.
“The site is allocated in the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035, and the importance of creating a new diverse, connected and active community at Chalgrove to urgently meet the considerable housing shortfall and deliver significant investment for the area remains unchanged”.
It is understood that a new planning application will be submitted either later this year or next year, and may involve the new areas of greenfield/agricultural land that Homes England purchased to the north and east of the airfield. We continue to dispute their claim that Chalgrove is needed to ‘urgently meet the considerable housing shortfall’. This is simply not true. The Local Plan over-provides for housing in our district by some considerable margin and Chalgrove’s allocation of 3000 houses simply isn’t needed to meet this need. Whatever Homes England submit as an alternative application, rest assured we will be ready and waiting to scrutinise every detail and keep you informed.
In the meantime, we continue to work behind the scenes to hold Homes England to account for the outrageous sums of public funds that they continue to spend, and waste, on their fundamentally flawed vision for a new town at Chalgrove. The latest figure in 2020 amounted to £10m, and this will have significantly increased following their futile application for planning.
We are also investigating the financial impact on the local council funds that have been wasted and diverted from other essential services in our district responding to Homes England’s tireless pursuit of Chalgrove over the last 6 years.