PLANS for Oxford’s largest estate since Greater Leys are set to be given the go-ahead on Monday.

Proposals for “a vibrant new community” on a 36-hectare site north of the A40 at Barton will be discussed by Oxford City Council on Monday.

The Oxford bypass is set to be transformed into a landscaped city street as part of the plans to create up to 1,200 homes at West Barton.

The draft action plan also makes clear the ring road will be radically changed to remove “a noisy, visually dominating physical barrier” isolating Barton.

The speed limit would be cut from 70 to 40mph, with new homes fronting the ring road.

However, proposals for 150-homes on Ruskin Fields, on the other side of the bypass, have not made it into the draft Barton Area Action Plan.

The impact on a conservation area and problems with access, meant the Ruskin development could put the bigger scheme at risk, councillors will be told.

The action plan says: “The development will be a new piece of the city, distinct from other areas but wholly integrated in the fabric of Oxford. It will have its own identity, with a neighbourhood core and open spaces that link the site together.”

The homes would be accessed directly from the ring road via a new signal-controlled junction or roundabout.

To prevent rat-running, the junction or roundabout would be designed so only buses have access into Northway. There would be two other access roads into the estate from Barton – from Fettiplace Road and Barton Village Road.

The council says the changes are currently being tested through transport modelling.

But the former president of Oxford Civic Society, Mark Barrington-Ward, said: “Trying to treat the A40, a national traffic artery, as a street is a deeply flawed concept. It would deliberately expose new homes on both sides to the fumes and lights of heavy traffic, and noise that is unlikely to be reduced substantially by a 40mph speed limit, assuming that is obeyed.”

Old Headington residents welcomed news that the proposal to build on fields in Ruskin College’s campus was not in the action plan.

Veronica Hurst, co-chairman of the Ruskin Fields Group, said: “We are delighted that planning officers have decided that it is not appropriate to build 150 houses in these two small fields.”

She added the college would continue to push for the scheme.

But the principal of Ruskin, Prof Audrey Mullender, said: “The college is disappointed that the Ruskin Fields site is not included at this stage. We still believe that Ruskin Fields could provide much needed affordable housing for Oxford.”

A ‘linear park’ is to replace Barton Village Nature Park, which is judged to be of “relatively low ecological value.”

Sue Holden, secretary of Barton Community Association, said: “There is huge disappointment that the nature reserve will be built on. This is something Barton people have campaigned about from the earliest days.”

If councillors follow officers’ recommendations to approve the scheme, there will be a six week consultation early in the new year, with the scheme submitted to the Communities Secretary in March.

A public examination is expected in July.