AN aviation-themed industrial estate should be built in Carterton to create jobs, says the town council.
It would help create employment space after the council claimed 80 per cent of residents commute out of the town for work.
The move comes as 2,450 homes were earmarked for Carterton in the next 15 years as part of West Oxfordshire District Council’s draft local plan.
Mayor Lynn Little wants to see her town capitalise on its relationship with RAF Brize Norton and believes the development could bear similarities to the Silverstone Business Park, where motor businesses have moved near the Formula 1 race track.
She said: “If we’re getting new housing then we have to give the people who are moving into these new houses employment.
“We don’t want to see them getting out of the town. We need employment land to sustain the town as well as good road infrastructure.
“If we had the right amount of land for employment it could hopefully see aviation businesses come here because we’re right next to RAF Brize Norton. It would also support them to come outside of the wire.”
More than 2,000 homes are already in the pipeline for Carterton, with planning applications either granted or due to be decided, which could increase the town’s population to more than 20,000 people.
The town council is in the process of producing a masterplan to feed into the local plan, in which it will ask residents what they think the town needs to cope with the new housing.
Mrs Little, a retired sales manager who commuted out of the town every day for 40 years, said traffic was a “nightmare”.
Town clerk Caroline Ramsey said about 20 hectares of employment land would be needed to create about 1,000 jobs.
She said she knows families living outside the town who have relatives working at RAF Brize Norton but refuse to move because there are no professional jobs for their partners.
Public affairs consultant Dan Bramwell, who is working with the council on its masterplan, said: “All the developers, councils and businesses need to work together so they can look at the long-term future and produce a site that will attract businesses.”
Witney East district councillor Duncan Enright said more homes could be built in Carterton but only if it receives investment.
He said: “Carterton is a town that hasn’t had the right investment and is without a town centre. There’s a clear ambition from the town council and others in the town to make it a much more attractive place and build up its economic viability.”