THE main street in Oxford’s biggest housing development in a generation will be called Barton Fields Road, the Oxford Mail can reveal.

When the 885-home estate was given the name Barton Park 18 months ago, residents feared it would lead to a divide between the new and old communities.

The same worries were echoed when it was leaked that the main arterial route would be called Barton Park Road.

Top News

But now after residents and councillors rallied against the proposal, Oxford City Council – the authority in charge of naming the street – has opted to call it Barton Fields Road.

Barton community secretary and resident Sue Holden said the new name had a “nice ring to it” and was not as commercialised as Barton Park Road.

The 67-year-old added: “I don’t think the original suggestion sat comfortably with everybody. I have to say Barton Fields Road fits in much more comfortably with everything around it.”

Grandmother-of-seven Mrs Holden added: “I take my hat off to the city council because it did not need to consult us on the street names, but it chose to do it.”

Glynis Phillips, county councillor for Barton, said a rousing speech at a meeting by Mike Rowley made the difference and hailed the name as a “victory for the Barton community”.

City councillor Mr Rowley said: “I’m very pleased by this decision. I argued strongly for the main road not to be named Barton Park Road because of the strong feeling in the community that this would tend to split off the new housing from the old.

“The name Barton Park will be used by estate agents marketing the commercially available share of the new housing, and they’re welcome to it. But for this reason it’s not a suitable permanent name for the new main road.

“Barton Fields Road is purely descriptive and so neutral – it commemorates the traditional landscape of small fields that will be replaced by the new housing.”

City council spokesman Tom Jennings said: “The council consulted on the name for the main road through this exciting new development. The consultation produced a wide range of differing opinions and failed to produce a clear preference, so the council has opted for Barton Fields Road.”

Work on the first 237 homes, being carried out by the Barton LLP – a partnership between Oxford City Council and Grosvenor Developments Ltd – is due to start in June.