PEOPLE’S lives will be ‘at stake’ if a plan to build 3,000 new homes near an Oxfordshire village gets the go-ahead, a councillor has warned today.

David Turner also said the housing plan for Chalgrove Airfield had been hanging over residents like 'the Sword of Damocles' for years.

He raised his fears alongside other councillors and residents at the latest day in the the ongoing examination of South Oxfordshire District Council's draft Local Plan, which includes the airfield plan.

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Others argued that the development prioritised Oxford’s housing need over Chalgrove’s.

District councillor Mr Turner said: “Our life is clearly at stake.

Herald Series:

The outline of the proposed development site on the airfield, with the village immediately to the south. Picture: Google Maps

“We are already doing our bit to assist the district council with council issues.

“The thought of 3,000 more homes in close proximity will overwhelm Chalgrove with about nine to ten thousand extra inhabitants and it would turn us into a town like Henley or Thame.”

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Mr Turner also tried to raise ‘the very sensitive issue’ of flooding in the village, which he said could be increased by the development, but planning inspector Jonathan Bore struck the councillor’s comment.

Alongside the 3,000 homes, Homes England also submitted plans for a 'retail centre' in the estate which it said would create jobs.

However, chairman of Chalgrove Airfield Action Group Paul Boone argued that it would draw business away from local shops.

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A file photo of what Chalgrove Airfield looks like now. Picture: Oxford Mail

Mr Boone pointed out: “The promoter is presenting the retail centre as a town centre, not a village centre, which is what we are.

“This will greatly damage the local economy and also draw business away from Watlington.”

For the plan to move forward it needs to ensure ‘significant employment opportunities within the development' and Homes England identifies 1,445 jobs.

Mr Boone highlighted that this represents ‘less than one job per household’.

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He added that while there is local need for more housing, it is not for 3,000.

Concerned residents also pointed out that the development would create a ‘car-based settlement’ because of the scarce transport links.

Chalgrove resident Patrick McGuirk, who lives in the village of Great Haseley – about five miles away from the development, said that he often cycles to Oxford.

Mr McGuirk said: “There is no cycling infrastructure to make that journey faster or safer – no form of segregation or improvement.”

The resident said that he was ‘puzzled at best’ how new homeowners were supposed to travel to the rest of Oxfordshire and not create traffic.

He added: “To expect people to travel to work with the travel provisions proposed is plainly ridiculous.”

Discussions will continue tomorrow on similarly massive housing estates next to Culham Science Centre and south of Grenoble Road in Oxford.