PLANS to build a huge development with more than 1,000 homes, a primary school, social facilities and 'creative city' near Bicester have been approved.

Developers Dorchester Living want to convert the former US and RAF airbase in Upper Heyford into a 'modern take on the traditional countryside village'.

The masterplan which was put forward to Cherwell District Council's Planning Committee last Thursday comprises 1,175 homes (348 proposed to be affordable), new employment buildings, an area of potential high-tech used for film production dubbed a 'creative city', a primary school, a sports park and medical centre.

It also includes a park with a 30m-high observation tower with a zipwire and a 'visitor destination centre' and community buildings.

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The plan received 60 objections from residents and four letters of support, with main concerns regarding the increase of traffic and the impact on highway safety.

People were also worried that there would be increased noise and light pollution during filming in the 'creative city'.

Melanie Greenwood, from the village of Somerton which is close to Upper Heyford, said: "All this development will put pressure on our transport infrastructure creating congestion on the roads which are already in an extremely poor condition and congested."

Councillor John Broad said he had a few issues with some of the plans such as the zipwire, but that Dorchester had made an 'amazing' effort to retain the site's history.

He said: "I think the issues raised by Historic England need to be addressed. They (Dorchester Living) plan to renovate the control tower as part of the museum which is great, but they also want to build a 30m-high observation tower which is going to be an eyesore. I don't understand why as that's what the control tower is for.

"They want to build a zipwire from it so that when used it feels as though you are landing a plane. It's stupid and not necessary. It's little details like this that need sorting.

"They've done a fantastic job with the history aspects. They've definitely done an amazing amount of work to keep the heritage, but the part that struck me was that the site, according to Historic England, is one of the finest Cold War sites. Hopefully the tourist centre will show what was done there in the 1960s."

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Historic England had concerns on heritage grounds and objected to the application.

It said that development on the airfield would 'harm the distinctive military character' of the field which forms the 'most significant' part of the conservation area.

It also had concerns about the scale of the 'creative city', the proposals for the school and the extent of demolition proposed.

Details however can be changed in the future as this is an outline application.