Chalgrove Airfield has a distinguished history. Opened in 1943, it was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces. During the war, it was used primarily as a combat reconnaissance airfield. After the war, it was closed in late 1946. It currently hosts Martin-Baker Aircraft Co. Ltd, a manufacturer of ejection seats and safety-related equipment for aviation.
Homes England seeks to support local priorities at sites for which it is responsible. There are therefore a number of issues we must consider in bringing forward development:
- Active airfield: We must consider the site’s active use as an airfield and testing facility by the current tenant.
- Woodland: The site includes good quality deciduous woodland which should be retained and protected.
- Drainage: Chalgrove is within the floodplain of the Chalgrove Brook. Developing an appropriate drainage strategy will be important.
- Landscape: The Airfield currently represents a break in the wider Clay Vale landscape which characterises Oxfordshire. We will need to consider how the site relates to this wider landscape.
- Character: The historic core of Chalgrove is a Conservation Area and provides the nearest guide for character of existing homes in the local area.
- Unexploded Ordnance: The airfield was not bombed during the war, but there are records of munitions stored at the site. We will need to understand the current condition of the ground.
- Infrastructure: We are committed to providing the transport and community infrastructure required to support new homes at the site.
Further information about the context of the site is provided in this briefing pack.