THIS is what the first homes built on Oxford’s biggest housing estate in 100 years will look like.

After years of planning and preparing the Barton Park development, detailed designs of what the first 237 homes will look like have been released before the foundations are dug on the first house in June this year.

The entire project, which will feature 885 homes, a 315-place primary school and a community hub, was granted planning permission in 2013.

The development has been split into three phases and is likely to be completed by 2025.

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Housebuilders Hill Ltd have submitted the final plans for the first phase to Oxford City Council, which are up for approval in March.

Oxford city councillor Roy Darke, who will meet with colleagues to decide whether house-building can start, said he was pleased with the designs in the first section of the 38-hectare site.

Oxford Mail:

Oxford city councillor Roy Darke

Mr Darke, chairman of east area planning committee, added: “One thing that I’m impressed with is that the social housing will be mixed in with the private and there will be no difference and therefore no segregation.

“I think the architects have put a lot of time and thought into the designs, especially with the housing style, location and parking in the first phase.

“The plan is for the development to be quite environmentally friendly and sustainable. It’s looking very positive.”

Roof-top gardens, views of green spaces and “insect hotels” have been included in the designs, along with the drainage strategy and different types of housing, including terraced house and “waterfront villas”.

The construction of the A40 junction to link up the development with Northway estate started in May 2015, and is currently on track to be finished in time for when the housebuilders move in.

The 237 homes will see 95 council-owned homes built and include a range of three-to-five bedroom houses and several blocks of flats to help tackle the city’s housing crisis. A government-backed study predicted Oxford would need up to 32,000 more homes by 2021.

The plans show four-storey, one and two bed apartments along the A40, and at the entrance to the main street, which has been named Barton Fields Road.

On top of one of the apartment blocks will be a secure community roof garden, which will be available for residents to use, with small trees and seating areas.

Along the main road in the estate, a mixture of three and four bedroom homes is planned and there will be two-bedroom homes in one section known as Gladstone Gardens.

The street will also be home to a public garden and be at the “heart” of the community and also include an insect hotel, bird boxes, with a playing area for children.

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A view of where the new Barton Park will take shape

More green space, to be called Linear Park, complete with lakes, trees and flower beds, will also run along the back of the estate.

The project has been split into three house-building phases and is likely to be completed by 2025.

Barton mum-of-two Safia Baker said the designs looked “upmarket, clean and economically friendly”.

The 45-year-old added: “My concern is that: where does that leave us in the old part of Barton?

“A lot more money needs to be put into this area.

“I think, that we are kept informed as the council has a duty to inform us and listen to our views, but, that does not mean they will take into account what we say and acknowledge our views and do something about them.”

Barton resident Sue Holden, 67, added she thought the buildings looked very “futuristic” and that it showed how close the countryside the estate will be.

The grandmother-of -seven added: “I think the houses shown sitting within the apartment blocks may feel slightly claustrophobic, but this could be very different once they are built.

“There is plenty of emphasis on cycling.”

The scheme would originally have included new council homes, but the city council has now said it will have to reconsider its involvement after changes to the Government's Right to Buy policy. It is understood that it could transfer its stake to a housing association or set up a separate housing company. 

The waiting list for social housing stands at about 3,500.

Barton councillor Van Coulter said his mind was “by no means made up” on whether to grant the building of the homes.

He added: “This is the part of the development with the highest density of homes per hectare.

“Consequently, the scale, form and location of the proposed individual houses must be carefully balanced to ensure residents are provided with homes of adequate design, facilities and sufficient private space, while allowing for the delivery of much needed homes.

“I would be very interested to see or hear of any comments from the public and community groups before forming my decision.”