OX Place has completed its latest development of 38 affordable homes on Between Towns Road in Cowley.
Built on the former Murco garage site, The Curve includes three three-bed mews houses and 35 one-bed and two-bed flats in a single block of four to five storeys.
The development takes its name from how the flats follow the contour of Between Towns Road on its southern boundary. The three houses at the north end of the site are at the end of St Omer Road.
A landscaped central courtyard includes secure communal storage for 70 bikes, and the houses have individual cycle stores on their rear patios. There are also visitor cycle stands for four bikes.
As part of the development, Oxford City Council’s housing company has opened up and improved existing access between St Omer Road and Between Towns Road.
The three houses and 17 of the flats are shared ownership, which helps people onto the property ladder in a city they would otherwise be priced out of. Only two remain available for sale, with new shared owners already settling into their new homes.
The remaining 18 flats are council homes, and the council is in the process of letting these to people on its housing register.
All OX Place developments take a ‘fabric first’ approach. This means that maximising energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions are integral to the way buildings are designed. This has been achieved with enhanced insulation and air tightness standards, significantly reducing heat loss and minimising drafts.
The new homes also have mechanical ventilation heat recovery, which reuses heat that would otherwise be lost from air extracted during ventilation. Rooftop solar PV panels on the block of flats generate electricity that can be used in communal spaces during the day.
The Curve achieves an average of 56 per cent beyond government carbon reduction targets – exceeding the council’s planning requirement to go 40 per cent beyond national targets.
The new homes’ energy performance certificates (EPCs) have an average energy efficiency rating of 84B.
To promote biodiversity, The Curve has bee hotels across the development, and the three houses feature bee bricks, all providing nesting spaces for solitary bees to lay their eggs.
While the three houses have mews garages, the rest of the development is car-free, except for one electric car club space and two Blue Badge spaces. OX Place is providing an electric car for shared use as part of the Co-wheels car club.
“This is another really important step that Oxford City Council and OX Place are taking to deliver new affordable housing – that’s social housing and shared ownership housing – for the people of Oxford.
“With home ownership out of reach for most people and private rents at record levels, each new affordable home is badly needed in our city. The Curve’s 38 homes mark another vital OX Place contribution to tackling Oxford’s housing crisis.”
—Councillor Alex Hollingsworth, cabinet member for planning and housing delivery
“We aim to build high quality, affordable homes, built on low carbon principles for the people of Oxford. The Curve delivers on our ambitions, and it’s great to see people already settling in to their new homes.”
—Helen Horne, managing director of OX Place