Deal secures future of Heyford Park homes

Heyford Park show homes viewing.'101006M-H407
Heyford Park show homes viewing.'101006M-H407

Residents of Heyford Park were given reassurances after a new deal over infrastructure funding was accepted last week.

Officers from Cherwell District Council (CDC) said the housing market had been hit hard by the recession, and said there was “some doubt” as to whether the planned 1,075-home development around the former US air base would go ahead if it could not alter its agreement over infrastructure.

Development plans include the refurbishment of existing housing on site, including former airmen’s bungalows.

A significant number of people already live in Heyford Park.

Committee members agreed to cap the amount of infrastructure funding from existing housing at £2,650,000, and to place the rest of the costs on new homes.

The first new Heyford Park homes are due to be built next year.

On Thursday, committee member councillor James Macnamara, said: “There’s an an awful lot of people there who need certainty.

“We’ve got the planning permission, and the officers seem to have come up with a very pragmatic solution to make sure things happen sooner rather than later, so I think we win as a district in getting housing built.”

The total amount of contribution, which will go towards infrastructure such as schools, will not be affected.

The 1,230-acre site includes 315 existing homes, which are almost all occupied.

More than 1,000 people work at Heyford Park, and the community already has a sports centre, playing fields, church, community centre, and mini supermarket.

Around 15,000 US service personnel were based at Heyford Park at the height of the Cold War.

Nuclear bunkers at the base were put on the list of protected national monuments by English Heritage in 2010.

Plans for the Heyford Park development include the area’s first ‘free school’.

The school, which will take pupils from the ages of four to 18, was given the go-ahead by the government last month.