OXFORD City Council has revealed plans for new social housing and a children’s play areas development off Abingdon Road.

If planning permission is granted, the council will build between 29 and 33 homes on the recreation ground off Bertie Place.

The majority of the new homes would be two- or three-bedroom and, under the draft proposal, at least half of them would be new social housing.

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There are currently about 3,000 families waiting to get social housing in the city.

The council would also build a new children’s playground within the development, which would be open to the public.

This would be done alongside the renovation of the nearby play area in Fox Crescent where new equipment would be installed, including swings and a 'multi-play climber' with a slide.

Oxford Mail:

Oxford is regularly listed as being the least affordable place to buy a house in the country.

In February, research carried out by Lloyds Bank found that the average house price in the city was £460,184 – 12 times the average annual earnings in Oxford.

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Councillor Mike Rowley, cabinet member for affordable housing, said: "We have a lot of work to do before these proposals are finalised, but, if we can prove they are viable, they would create desperately-needed new social housing within the city’s boundaries, and increase the play opportunities to children and access to nature around Bertie Place."

Oxford Mail:

As part of the draft proposals, the city council is considering landscaping and planting parts of the scrubland, known as Cold Harbour, behind Wytham Street.

This could include planting new trees and shrubs to increase the biodiversity, and even possibly the creation of a community orchard.

The council hopes that the work would make the land more accessible to residents.

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The council stressed that this area of South Oxford boasts good public transport links and could be a low-car development site, so if the proposals go ahead, the council would look into building cycle storage for residents.

To receive planning permission the council will need to prove the development would not have a negative effect on nearby properties, including in terms of flooding and ground contamination.

Mr Rowley said: “We will carry out a full consultation with local residents over the coming months to ensure the development meets their needs and is in keeping with the local area.”

Originally, it was proposed that a new primary school is build on the site, but with Oxford’s acute housing crisis, the city council decided in 2013 that new homes would be of better use to the community.