THE Barton Park development will provide hundreds of homes for Oxford families and help tackle the city’s housing crisis. But it will also offer shelter for badgers, with plans for a new sett submitted to Oxford City Council this week as part of the scheme’s strategy to protect wildlife.

Experts said a badger sett was identified at the site in 2009, with a total of five badger social groups spotted around Bayswater Brook, and Lower and Wick Farms.

A survey this year showed the main sett was still active at the Barton Park site, and plans to relocate the group have been put to council officers.

Secretary of Oxfordshire Badger Group Linda Ward said it has worked with developers to get the “best deal” for badgers.

She added: “We’ve been talking with ecologists and we want the best possible outcome for the badgers.

“We are going to manage the situation carefully and keep in contact with the developer.”

“We do know that shortly after the work started two badgers were killed on the road, which raised the alarm, although it wasn’t malicious.”

The estate will see 885 homes and a 315-place primary school built.

When planning permission was first granted for the £47.9m development, a condition was placed to produce a wildlife report and come forward with ways to protect it.

There will be 15 chambers in the sett, linked by tunnels and buried soil, before planting takes place to enclose the settlement.

Badgers will be relocated after having their homes blocked off.