ARCHITECTS of the future visited Barton Park to learn how new housing developments can encourage healthier living.

Students from Oxford's twinned city Grenoble, France, visited the 885-home development which is being built on land west of Barton, to see how the new neighbourhoods are shaping up.

The Oxford Mail revealed last month how a three-bedroom house in the development was listed to cost at least £595,000, with a one bed-room home starting from £299,950.

Students were given a tour of the site which is designed - by Oxford City Council and developers Grosvenor - to have walking and cycling friendly streets.

Several parks and green spaces including outdoor gym equipment running through the development have been built since the work started on the site in early 2016.

The building of sports facilities and homes designed to last a 'lifetime' come after the developed was chosen as one of NHS England’s 'Healthy New Towns'.

The project has, so far, seen the city city Council receive £126,000 to develop ways of encouraging healthy lifestyles across the new development and in Barton.

Dr Stéphane Sadoux, deputy director of the centre of excellence in architecture, environment and building cultures at the Grenoble School of architecture, and 22 of his final year students visited Barton Park Friday, September 15.

The visit was part of a week-long field trip to England to learn about architectural and urban design.

Thee group were given a tour of the site by CA Blackwell and housebuilder Hill, which is constructing the first phase of 237 new homes.

Dr Sadoux said: "The students we are training today will still be practicing in the late 2050s. Over the course of their career, they will face unprecedented health-related and environmental challenges. Best practice exchange, especially at an international level, is an invaluable addition to their curriculum. We were particularly impressed by the fact that, although the site is located on the outskirts of the city, the layout and density feel urban and walkable – they are not what you would find in a typical suburban development." Forty per cent the houses in Barton Park - 354 homes- will be acquired by the city council for social housing.

Barton councillor Mike Rowley said: “The new Barton development is so much more than just about building 885 new homes. Encouraging healthy living has been built into the fabric of the new community."