OX Place, the housing company by Oxford City Council, has submitted a planning application for 22 council homes on Bertie Place, let at genuinely affordable social rent and nine sold for shared ownership.
OX Place aims to build the homes on Bertie Place recreation ground, a former landfill site in South Oxford which has been earmarked for housing development since 2013.
The council homes will consist of 10 three-bed houses, 10 one-bed flats and 2 two-bed flats. The shared ownership homes will all be two-bed houses.
A new public play area and multi-use games area (MUGA) will be built on the site to replace the recreation ground’s existing equipment. Plans for the play area and MUGA have not been finalised yet.
A nature trail will also be created in the adjacent Cold Harbour site, and a new, accessible bridge, built to link the area to Bertie Place.
All OX Place developments take a ‘fabric first’ approach, with enhanced insulation and air tightness standards. This maximises energy efficiency and reduces carbon emissions by how the buildings are designed.
The new homes will be electrically heated, primarily by air source heat pumps – meaning they will become zero carbon when the electricity grid decarbonises.
They will also have mechanical ventilation heat recovery, which reuses heat that would otherwise be lost from air extracted during ventilation. Rooftop solar PV panels will generate electricity for use during the day.
The development is on track to achieve an average of 68% beyond government carbon reduction targets – exceeding the council’s planning requirement to go 40% beyond the 2022 building regulations.
There will be five parking spaces with EV charging, including one car club and one Blue Badge space. The remaining three spaces will be for visitors.
Social rent is calculated with reference to the size and value of a home and average regional incomes. This means Oxford council tenants typically pay around 40% of the rent a private landlord would charge for the same home.
Average house prices in Oxford are more than 12 times the average household earnings, compared to eight times the average earnings for England as a whole. Shared ownership helps people onto the property ladder in a city they would otherwise be priced out of.
The planning application will be available for viewing and comments on the council’s planning portal once it has been validated.
If planning permission is granted, work could start on the new homes in late 2023.
“OX Place is building homes for a sustainable future. Every single affordable home our housing company builds makes a life changing difference.”
—Councillor Alex Hollingsworth, cabinet member for planning and housing delivery
“We’ve worked extensively with local residents to help shape our plans for Bertie Place, and I’m really pleased we’ve now applied for planning permission to build 31 affordable, low carbon homes. These are badly needed, and I hope we can start work later this year.”
—Helen Horne, managing director of OX Place