Residents living close to a historic airfield are being asked to get involved in the design of a controversial development.

A decision to build homes on part of North Weald Airfield was made last year after Epping Forest District Council said it could no longer afford to subsidise aviation on the site.

This was met with anger from some residents who wanted to retain the airfield, which was used during the First World War, in its current state.

The council is now asking for the public to contribute to the design process for the new homes.

The views of residents are to be considered in research study on development in the village of North Weald Bassett and the airfield, which will also contribute to the new district-wide Local Plan.

An estimated 10,000 homes are to be built in the district in the next 20 years under the plan.

Councillor Richard Bassett, planning portfolio holder, said: “After years of uncertainty over the airfield, residents, airfield tenants and councillors are taking the initiative by producing the plans we want to see for the village.

“We have made a commitment to protect aviation at North Weald. This is a genuine opportunity for residents to shape the future of North Weald Bassett.”

Residents need to register in advance if they want to attend a workshop from 10.15am to 1pm on January 25 by calling Jo Robinson on 020 7921 0100 or emailing