THAMES Water has said the way a key £500m Oxford development would deal with waste water still needs to be worked out.

The company said the plans for Oxford North currently show there would be an ‘inability’ to deal with existing foul water, surface water and the existing water network infrastructure.

Oxford North’s developers, Thomas White Oxford (TWO), said it was confident Thames Water will soon withdraw its objections in time, as it did over similar doubts last year.

If it gets planning permission, the project would be built on land north of Wolvercote. It would provide about 480 new homes for about 1,500 people and employment space for another 4,500 jobs.

In documents filed on Oxford City Council’s planning portal, Thames Water’s development planning department states: “Following initial investigations, Thames Water has identified an inability of the existing foul water network infrastructure to accommodate the needs of this development proposal.”

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It continues: “Thames Water has contacted the developer in an attempt to agree a position for foul water networks but has been unable to do so in the time available.”

It requests that planning conditions are put in place so no new properties on the development are occupied until the upgrades needed are done.

TWO is a development company owned by St John’s College, Oxford, which is understood to be one of the richest of the city’s colleges.

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A spokeswoman for TWO said: “TWO is aware of Thames Water’s submitted comments dated 8 July 2019 to Oxford North’s planning application and the additional information provided.

“This is a standard response from Thames Water for any planning application.”

She added: “Thames Water has previously confirmed that there is capacity in the system and has withdrawn an identical comment.”

In June, the city council’s leader Susan Brown said she was ‘somewhat concerned’ about TWO’s plan that either 25 or 30 per cent of homes at the site would be marked as affordable.

That would mean between 120 and 144 of the homes would be given that classification.

But the council has been concerned that is lower than its desire that half of all new homes can be classified as affordable.