COUNCIL houses on the new Barton Park estate will be mixed in with other homes under plans revealed for the first time.

Designs for Oxford’s biggest housing development in a generation showed councilowned and private homes would be built to the same specification and indistinguishable from each other.

At a public meeting on Monday, housebuilder Hill unveiled artists’ impressions for the first 237 homes west of Barton.

Designs showed a mixture of flats and houses – 40 per cent of which will be affordable and owned by the council.

Van Coulter, Oxford city councillor for Barton, said: “As a concept, the proposal looks well thought out. I am happy that sufficient care is being taken to achieve a good outcome.”

Hill described the development, on the north-east edge of the city, as a “sustainable urban extension of Oxford”.

The scheme is a partnership between the city council and Grosvenor Developments Limited, called Barton Oxford LLP.

Outline planning approval for up to 885 new homes, a primary school and community hub was given in September 2013.

The initial designs come ahead of a ground-breaking ceremony planned for today, with Grosvenor’s development manager Alex Robinson and city council leader Bob Price marking the start of infrastructure work.

The proposals unveiled on Monday are in their early stages but Hill hopes to submit a final, more detailed planning application for phase one in July.

The development ranges from one- and two-bed flats to two- to five-bed houses. The tallest apartment building is five storeys and would be one of two to be built alongside the A40. The apartments all have bedrooms on the opposite side from the A40 to help minimise noise problems.

Jamie Wilding, senior development manager at Hill, said: “It is quite interesting being the first developers and fantastic that we get to set the scene for everyone else. It is a great opportunity.

It will finish off this piece of the jigsaw connecting Barton to Northway.”

During the meeting, he revealed the eco-friendly homes would meet 20 per cent of their energy demands using renewable sources.

Preparations began this month on the 8.75-acre site ahead of work on the new access road off the A40.

Residents raised concerns over the safety of the new junction and complained that trees, which acted as a sound barrier for Northway, had been removed for the work.

Jane Cox, a Northway resident since 1970, said: “When they decided on Barton Park they should have decided on a way in and out without bothering us in Northway.”

Public consultations will be held at Barton Neighbourhood Centre in Underhill Circus on Saturday from 10am to 2pm and at Northway Community Centre in Dora Carr Close on Tuesday from 4pm to 7pm.