Controversial homes on former airbase in Upper Heyford approved

Cherwell District Council ENGNNL00120130429170922
Cherwell District Council ENGNNL00120130429170922

A controversial, new housing development in Upper Heyford is set to build on the village’s military heritage as plans for dozens of homes close to the former RAF base were approved.

Cherwell District Council’s planning committee approved an application for 79 homes and a new open space, subject to a legal agreement, on Thursday (September 28).

Residents, the land owners, parish councils, Oxfordshire County Council’s highways department and others objected to the proposed development off Camp Road.

The houses would have one to four bedrooms and be designed in a style reflective of the arts and crafts style of homes built for RAF officers nearby the application site.

The development will comprise 35 per cent affordable homes and, as a condition of the permission being granted, officers will now negotiate financial contributions from the developer to help pay for heritage conservation, community resources and infrastructure such as sports facilities and highway improvements.

Planning committee chairman Cllr David Hughes said: “Upper Heyford is a site of great strategic importance as new homes are delivered in north Oxfordshire and this proposal is a good example of how we can plan for the future while protecting links to the past.

“Across the new settlement, plans are being made to integrate the history of the former RAF Upper Heyford into developments in the area, and it is pleasing to see that developer is planning to build these new homes in a way that reflects the base’s architectural history.

“Equally, we recognise that there is a great opportunity to improve the character and atmosphere of the village through new buildings, and we are expecting to see modern and varied developments offering a high standard of landscaping, infrastructure and amenity for residents.”

Military use at RAF Upper Heyford ended in 1994 and this application follows on from the granting of an outline permission in 2010, allowing for 1,075 houses to be built across the wider site.

It is part of a broader series of proposals designed to deliver housing, infrastructure and to improve the character of the former airbase; these include a proposal for a heritage centre.

The application covers works to build a new access to the site from Camp Road and the site sits close to the eastern edge of the former airbase.