A potential ‘Masterplan’ to increase the use of a major airfield has received support from several parish councillors.

Members of North Weald Bassett Parish Council emphasised the historic importance and education possibilities North Weald Airfield has to offer residents.

A new access road off Epping Road, control tower and police station could be constructed as part of the ‘Masterplan’, in a reported by Epping Forest District Council.

A district council report published last month stated: "It is envisaged that EFDC offices will be located (on the eastern side) and the viability of accommodating other uses such as a library for North Weald Bassett and a Police Station can also be explored.

"The listed control tower also has potential for community use.

"The opportunity for education premises focused on aviation and potentially an exhibition detailing the history of the airfield should also be considered in the Masterplan."

The district council also emphasised that the existing listed control tower will be retained "with the possibility of adaptation for alternative use".

A focus on aviation use to the west side of the airfield, alongside the M11, with new district council offices by the runway has also been suggested.

Business, general industrial, storage and distribution uses could feature on the eastern side of the airfield next to the proposed the new council offices.

Cllr Anthony Jackson requested discussing the suggested ‘Masterplan’ during the parish council meeting on Monday, May 13, stating North Weald Airfield's "biggest competitor" is London City Airport.

Cllr Sheila Jackman told the meeting: "The view of the council has been that we want to encourage flying on the airfield. That was our policy and there hasn't been any change to that."

Cllr Anne Grigg said: "The message that has been coming from the residents is to support aviation use on the airfield.

"We've had waste sites, other rubbish dumps, a detention centre (proposed over the years). We have had it in the past.

"The arrival of the air ambulance and the police I think has secured the finances of the airfield area."

Cllr Terry Blanks said: "There would have to be a lot of capital investment, there are no runway lights along the runway.

“While we have well-run helicopters, if there were going to be a major upgrade it would cost an absolute fortune and I think at that stage there might be objections.”

Councillor Andy Tyler said: "The airfield is a great resource, yes it has to pay its way and yes we need a certain amount of intensification.

"I don't think we should ever under-value its historic value. We need to protect it."

As well being a popular site with flying enthusiasts, North Weald Airfield is also home and training base for charity, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT).

In January 2019, construction began on new airbase for Essex Police at the site which is expected to be this autumn.

The £4million project was greenlit after planning permission was granted by Epping Forest District Council last year.