A HOUSEBUILDER specialising in environmentally-friendly homes has been chosen to spearhead the first phase of the 885-home Barton Park development.

Oxford City Council leader Bob Price said the council, a partner in the scheme with Grosvenor Developments Ltd, has chosen Hill to deliver 237 new homes.

Of the mix of apartments and houses – which will occupy a 8.75-acre site east of the A40 near Barton – about 40 per cent will be affordable and owned by the council.

And homes in the development will generate 20 per cent of their own energy using renewable sources.

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Mr Price said it was hoped designs would be ready by March and would “very definitely” be subject to public consultation.

He said: “We’re delighted to have been able to secure Hill for our first phase of the new homes at Barton.

“They have a great reputation for quality design and environmental awareness.

“We will be working closely with Hill and Grosvenor to ensure that phase one of the new Barton estate meets residents’ expectations for 21st century homes in a garden suburb.”

Hill, which was last month declared “medium housebuilder of the year” at The Housebuilder Awards, has previously overseen housing developments in areas including London, Cambridge, Berkshire, Hertfordshire and Essex.

Oxford Mail:

Artist’s impression of the new neighbourhood at Barton Park

It is also the firm behind plans for the “Alchester Park” development in Chesterton, near Bicester.

To design Barton West, it has hired Alison Brooks Architects and Pollard Thomas Edwards, who will follow planning standards set out by the city council.

The firm has agreed to meet the “Level 4” of its code for sustainable homes, the council said.

In all there are six levels, with Level 4 homes aiming to achieve a 44 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from sources such as heating, hot water, ventilation and lighting.

City council Green Party group leader Sam Hollick said a higher percentage of affordable homes could have been achieved.

But he added: “It is good to have these renewable energy measures in place.

“At the end of the day it means energy costs will be lower for the people who are living in these homes and the council can also meet its own energy saving targets.

“Generally, it seems to be a step in the right direction.”

The city council’s announcement comes after it confirmed earlier this month that it has submitted plans for a new access road to the development.

The overall project was approved in principle last September, but separate plans – with more details – are expected to be submitted for each section of the development.

Edward Skeates, development director at Grosvenor Developments Ltd, said: “The appointment of Hill is a significant milestone to have reached.

“We are confident that they will deliver a variety of high quality homes for Barton Park.”

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