A CLUSTER of 'truly affordable' homes have been unveiled by Blenheim Estates.

The initial builds at Park View - on the doorstep of Blenheim Palace - were opened by Witney MP Robert Courts on Thursday.

Work began last January and, owing to some weather complications, opened a couple of months behind schedule.

Smaller bedroom apartments range from £270,000 up to £400,000.

Some of the larger homes, however, are on the market for more than a million pounds.

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As Mr Courts opened the new estate he said: “I'm really excited to be here and to learn about this exciting development.

“This is a groundbreaking project, it is much more than a new housing development as there is the crucial aspect of affordability.

“I do feel this is part of a game changing scheme, not just locally but for the whole country, and I will make sure the ministers in London hear about this.

“It is not just about building homes but building a community for people to live in.

“Blenheim has been here 300 years before we were born and hopefully 300 years after we've gone.”

Oxford Mail:

Later phases of the development will see homes available from this autumn, with shared ownership and letting options.

The entire development will include up to 300 new homes and plans for small businesses accommodation, and is forecast to take between five and seven years to complete.

About 40 per cent of the total development will be affordable housing.

Jeff Haine, cabinet member for strategic planning at West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC), said: “I'm very impressed, the quality is exceptional.

“This is just phase one as when we know the costs from Blenheim we can plan building for phase two.”

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WODC expect to press ahead within the next 12 months with plans to begin this second phase of affordable housing.

Blenheim have considered the environment with the new builds as there is a minimal amount of plastic on the front of the properties with guttering made out of aluminium and timber windows and doors.

Dominic Hare, CEO at Blenheim Palace, said: “As a major landowner, employer and global visitor attraction we have both a duty and an interest in helping to ensure our local communities are able to not only survive but thrive in the years to come.”

So far 26 of the 46 showhomes have been sold with the first buyers expected to move in to their homes at the end of February.