EIGHT homes on a new housing site to the north of Oxford are being let.

As Oxford begins to emerge from lockdown, Oxford City Council is letting eight new homes for social rent on the Barton Park development.

The eight two-bedroom flats will now be allocated to people on the city housing register, after developers handed the keys over at the end of May.

People living in the new homes will be a mix of council tenants who need to move on from their currently council homes as they are unsuitable and other households in need.

The eight new homes mean that the council has now taken ownership of 75 of the 94 homes for social rent in the first phase of construction, known as Mosaics.

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Overall, 354 of the 885 homes planned for Barton Park will be homes for social rent – 40 per cent of the total which are being built.

Mike Rowley, Oxford City Council cabinet member for affordable housing and housing the homeless, said: “As life begins to return to normal after lockdown, we can get on with the job of delivering genuinely affordable housing because it’s badly needed in Oxford. We’re already offering the new flats to people on our housing register and I look forward to them moving into their new homes soon.”

Oxford Mail:

Mike Rowley. Picture: Oxford Mail

All homes for social rent on Barton Park are being let through the council’s housing company, Oxford City Housing Limited.

Social rent is defined by the government as 50 per cent of neighbouring market rents.

While 40 per cent of the homes will be let to council tenants at an affordable rate, the remaining 60 per cent, or or 531 homes, will be sold at market rate.

In the past some have criticised the expensive sale prices for these market rate homes.

At the time of writing, the estate agents Savills listed these homes at Mosaics at a guide price of between £600,000 and £1,175,000, varying based on the number of bedrooms available.

Barton Park is the result of a partnership between the city council and Grosvenor Britain and Ireland, a company owned by the Duke of Westminster.

To build Barton Park, the council and GBI created the joint venture company Barton Oxford LLP.

Rent charged for OCHL tenants will be the social rent amount and service charges, used to fund upkeep around the estate.

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Everyone will have to pay a service charge for the communal areas of Barton Park, with occupants of flats paying an additional charge for maintaining their block.

Since 2015, work at the new housing estate has been slowly progressing.

Alongside the 885 homes, a 315-place primary school and a shopping area are set to be completed over the next few years.

Work on the school, which will also have 45 places for nursery age children, began in October last year.

It is hoped that the new primary will act as a bridge between the new development and the old Barton estate.

Land to the west of Barton Park is currently being sized up for development.

The farmland, known as the Bayswater development, is owned by Christchurch College and could become the site of as many as 3,250 homes.