LIBERAL Democrat councillors have said they are ‘appalled’ by an Oxford college’s ‘cavalier approach’ to affordable housing for a potential £500m development.

Thomas White Oxford, the company of St John’s College, Oxford, wants to build 480 homes and facilities to support up to 4,500 jobs on land north of Wolvercote.

But it has been criticised for saying that between 25 or 30 per cent of any housing could be marked as affordable.

On Monday, the city council’s leader Susan Brown said she was ‘concerned’ about that proportion.

Lib Dem city councillors Liz Wade and Steve Goddard and county councillor Paul Buckley said: “[Ms Brown] says she is ‘somewhat concerned’.

“We are not just concerned – as councillors for Wolvercote Ward, which will include Oxford North if it goes ahead, we are appalled at St John’s cavalier approach to the affordable housing quota.”

They add: “Wolvercote, and Oxford as a whole, needs more genuinely affordable housing, both shared equity and social rented. Otherwise no-one on an average wage will be able to live here.”

The college said it would build more affordable housing but cannot afford to do so because of the cost of infrastructure it must build to support Oxford North.

Government money of £10m has already been allocated to the project.