A DEVELOPER has been chosen by Oxford City Council for its biggest housing development since Greater Leys was built.

The council has named Grosvenor Developments as its preferred bidder to build 1,000 new homes west of Barton.

The decision is subject to approval by the council’s executive later this month.

The 36-hectare site is the largest undeveloped site for residential use in the city and is seen as key to helping ease the city’s housing shortage.

Early plans are for up to 1,200 homes and include properties facing the ring road and Barton Village Road, which would have reduced speed limits, and a new park alongside Bayswater Brook.

There would also be a primary school, community and recreation facilities and shops.

Deputy council leader Ed Turner said: “Grosvenor presented an excellent proposal and we look forward to working with them on this exciting new housing project. This is a vital element in getting new social housing for local people.”

Edward Skeates, projects director at Grosvenor, added: “We’re very pleased to have been selected for Barton, which is an excellent site.

“Timescale is critical, so we will be full steam ahead now to enter into the agreement and get the project under way.”

Subject to final approval of the joint venture partnership, building work on the site is expected to start in 2013.