MoD proposes 1,650-home development near Bicester

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Plans for a 1,650-home development south of Bicester have been announced by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The MoD plans to sell off the 130-hectare (321-acre) Graven Hill depot, which is seen as surplus to military requirements.

The proposals, submitted to Cherwell District Council, suggest the homes and businesses could be built by 2026.

A Defence Estates spokesman said development "would represent a boost to local job opportunities".

But Councillor Michael Gibbard, Cherwell's planning and housing chief, said the plan "does not fit well" with how the authority sees needs for the town beyond 2026.

He added: "It follows that these MoD sites are only likely to come on stream afterwards and in any event the council will want to see eco-standards."

Nearby Heyford Park was former RAF land, sold to private developers in 1994.

The MoD wanted to create a new town of 5,000 homes on the site, but only 1,000 were allowed.

Chair of the Heyford Park Residents Association, Patricia Kirby, said: "From the experience of this site, I wouldn't want to be a developer.

"It will be very interesting indeed to see what reaction they [the MoD] get from the council."

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