Oxford consults on plans to build 79 low-carbon homes

Oxford City Council has begun consulting on plans to build 79 new low-carbon homes, half of which will be council and affordable housing.
Oxford is one of the least affordable places to live in the UK with a median house price of £393,500. Credit: Pixabay

Oxford City Council has begun consulting on plans to build 79 new low-carbon homes, half of which will be council and affordable housing.

The development on land west of Mill Lane in Marston will be developed by the council’s housing company Oxford City Housing Ltd (OHCL).

The council set up the housing company in response to Oxford’s urgent need for homes, with 2,355 households currently on the city’s housing waiting list.

In line with the council’s criteria for new developments, half of the proposed development (40 homes) will be council homes and homes for other affordable tenures, with 32 of the homes set to be council homes. The other 39 homes will be for private sale.

Cllr Alex Hollingsworth, cabinet member for planning and housing delivery on Oxford City Council, said: “Oxford needs homes and the development we’re proposing at Mill Lane will provide 79 of these, including 40 council and other affordable homes.

“We’re investing in the future of our city by building homes that are cutting edge and sustainable as well as genuinely affordable, and this development is part of that future.”

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Oxford is one of the least affordable places for housing in the UK. The city’s median house price is £395,000, while a median private rent for a three-bedroom home in Oxford is £1,500 a month, compared to £795 across England as a whole.

The 79 homes in Marston will consist of 12 one-bedroom apartments, 25 two-bedroom houses, 38 three-bedroom houses and four four-bedroom houses. The development aims to create a neighbourhood designed around green open spaces, with pedestrians and cyclists given priority.

The development will use eco-friendly building materials, sustainable features, and renewable energy sources – such as solar panels, wastewater heat recovery systems and air source heat pumps – in a bid to achieve carbon emissions 70% below current building regulations.

Each house will have its own cycle parking and access to electric vehicle charging. Meanwhile, biodiversity will be protected through elements such as tree planting, wildflower bedding and improvements to wildlife habitats.

Cllr Hollingsworth added: “OCHL is the people’s developer and in the next 10 years we aim to provide 2,245 new homes for people on our waiting list. This includes 1,124 homes for social rent – proper council housing.

“Every new council home makes a small but vital contribution to tackling systemic inequality and improving opportunities for people.”

The consultation on the new homes will run until Thursday 12 November, with the outcome set to be published at the end of the month.

A planning application and further consultation on the development will follow soon after at the start of next year.

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