Grove Airfield homes granted outline permission

Grove airfield
Image caption Permission for the grassland in Grove to be turned into a World War 2 airfield was given in May 1941

Plans to build 2,500 homes and district shopping centre on a former airfield in Oxfordshire have been granted.

The proposals for former World War 2 Grove airfield are part of a plan to build 5,500 new homes in the area.

Campaigners said these would almost double the local population. They say they are concerned about school places, leisure facilities and roads.

The government wants 55,000 new homes built in Oxfordshire by 2026 to deal with a housing need in the county.

Gridlocks feared

The Vale Of White Horse district council planners gave outline permission on Wednesday night for the 2,500 homes as well as a supermarket, shops, a library and other community facilities.

Also included are plans for two primary schools, a secondary school, playing fields, other large areas of open space and the realignment of Denchworth Road.

The site was first identified for development by the council in 2002.

Approximately 250 homes will be built a year.

Councillor Roger Cox, cabinet member for planning development, said he was "very pleased" and that the project formed "a major part of the council's five-year housing land supply calculations".

The Wantage & Grove Campaign Group estimates that the airfield development will bring an extra 6,000 people to the 2011 census recorded population of 7,178.

A campaign spokesman said: "This level of growth is not proportionate or sustainable without significant investment in infrastructure now."

Resident Richard Wood from Grove said: "As someone who lives in Grove and commutes out of Grove I am dreading the gridlocks we are going to be in for a couple of years before it improves."

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