THE latest designs for yet another giant new housing estate have been revealed after more than two years of waiting.

Initial work to build 1,880 homes on land to the north east of Didcot could begin as early as next week as part of a joint scheme run by Croudace Homes and Reading University.

The homes were granted planning permission back in July 2016 but little detail has been heard publicly since then.

Now, documents submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council have finally revealed what the development could look like.

It comes as experts have questioned whether large new estates are really the answer to solving Oxfordshire’s housing woes with some claiming they will create more problems than solve.

Under the plans, to be known as Willowbrook Park, 470 of the homes will be ‘affordable’, with the majority of these available under the shared ownership scheme, allowing buyers to part-rent and part-buy a house.

The rest will be put on the open market with 80 one-bedroom, 376 two-bedroom, 612 three-bedroom, 228 four-bedroom and 114 five-bedroom houses up for grabs.

Daniel Hayman, a spokesman for the North East Didcot Partnership which is co-ordinating the scheme, said: "Progress on the new community at north east Didcot has been progressing well behind the scenes, with delivery of the main on-site infrastructure beginning next week at the Mersey Way roundabout.

"Croudace Homes has submitted plans for the first phase of the development, which include a range of styles and sizes, from starter homes to family accommodation.

"If the application is approved, work would commence on these new homes in the new year and would be available for sale early in 2020."

Anthony Dearlove, the Didcot South councillor who is also South Oxfordshire District Council’s vice chair for planning, said he feared the proliferation of multiple-bedroom houses could price out first time buyers, the majority of whom may only be able to afford one or two beds.

He said: “We would have liked to have seen more affordable homes but it wasn’t seen as sustainable.

“With prices being what they are, it will be very difficult for first-time buyers to afford the larger houses and I think starter homes should be more of a priority.

“There are a number of key infrastructure projects we would like to see in and around Didcot and the more affordable homes, the less money developers have to give to these types of things – it is a bit of a double-edged sword.

“We would like to be able to turn around and say, ‘no more estates until the town is ready’ but there are government targets which are dictating how many homes we need to build and when.”

The first phase of the planned development will see work begin on 173 of the homes along with transport improvements, drainage work and the installation of a large park including a kickabout area, formal gardens and wildflower meadows.

Leader of Didcot Town Council Steve Connel praised the large amount of green spaces included in the plan but said he was not convinced there was enough information to show there would be sufficient healthcare for residents.

He added: "My biggest concern by far though is the impact this will have on Didcot’s roads.

"They are already beyond capacity and will get worse when both Didcot North East and Valley Park are built.

"There are a number of projects being talked about which would help, but I fear that they will struggle to be delivered soon enough to mitigate the additional congestion."

Rowan Waller, the owner of Wallers estates agent in Oxford, said he had seen a number of people leave the city for Didcot’s new estates, but did not think they would solve the housing crisis.

He said: “You may get 1,800 families buying these homes but then you’ll have 1,800 families in the wrong place.

“It solves one problem but creates others. People want to live where their lives are – a nurse should be able to buy in Headington, not be forced to commute along the already congested A34.

“Developers are being pushed down the route of large new build estates but what we need are schemes that make the market more affordable in general and this is a bit of a distraction.”