ASPIRING homeowner Courtney Thomas was one of the first to put her name down for a house in the new Barton Park estate.

With the initial plans unveiled last week, Miss Thomas, 21, was keen to register her interest.

She was speaking at a public consultation for the scheme on Tuesday at the Northway Community Centre.

Planning permission has been given for up to 885 homes between Barton and Northway, 40 per cent of which would be affordable and council-owned.

The hairdresser, who wants to buy a property with her boyfriend, said: “I think it’s great.

“I live in Barton already so it would be really local to me. Having affordable housing as an option also appeals.

“The timing is perfect. They would be finished at about the time we’re looking to move out from our parents’ houses.”

Staff from developer Hill showed residents plans and artists’ impressions for the first phase of construction, which consists of 237 homes west of Barton.

The development ranges from one-bedroom flats to five-bedroom houses.

The tallest apartment building is five storeys and would be one of two to be built alongside the A40.

The flats all have bedrooms on the opposite side from the dual carriageway to help minimise noise.

Miss Thomas said: “I already knew what they were talking about because I rang up, but it’s good to see the plans in person.”

Stephen Hearn was also looking to help his daughter, Sophie, move into one of the new homes.

The Barton resident said: “This is brilliant for Sophie. She wants to get on the property ladder and it’s so hard for young people these days. Ideally she’s looking for a two-bed property with a bit of garden.”

Mr Hearn works for a construction company in Oxford and said: “We supply tarmac and construction supplies, so hopefully they will use our company. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

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

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

Jamie Wilding, senior development manager at Hill, said a planning application for phase one is due to be submitted by the end of July.

Other phases of the scheme will include plans for a primary school, community centre and sports facilities.

He said: “At the moment we’re looking for feedback on the proposals.

“We’ve had a good turnout in Barton – about 40 people came – and are getting a positive response.”

Not everyone backs the plans.

Marston councillor Mick Haines says outdated sewage systems will struggle to cope with the new homes.

And Meaden Hill resident Barbara Stone said: “This will destroy our compact little estate for everybody with a road coming straight through to us. It’s absolute nonsense.”