Oxford City Council has given planning permission to redevelop a disused hostel and sports field in Littlemore by building up to 61 new homes.
The council will now build 51 new flats in two four-storey blocks at the Northfield Hostel site off Sandy Lane.
The new homes will be in a mix of mostly one-bed and two-bed flats. They will include 27 council homes let at social rent and 24 shared ownership homes.
The council hopes to appoint a development partner for the new flats by late spring. Work could then begin in early 2023, with construction currently expected to take around 13 months.
Outline planning permission has also been given to build up to 10 new houses on the hostel’s adjacent former sports field. These will be for market sale and developed separately by Oxfordshire County Council, which owns the site.
Northfield Hostel closed as residential accommodation for a special school in 2014.
Oxford is among the least affordable places for housing in the UK, with median house prices nearly 12 times median household earnings and private rents almost double that for England as a whole.
Social rent is calculated with reference to the size and value of a home and average regional incomes. In Oxford, social rent is typically around 40% of equivalent private rents.
Shared ownership is a low cost option for people to get onto the property ladder by buying a share in a home they couldn’t afford to buy outright.
Enhanced insulation and air tightness standards, together with heat recovery ventilation and the use of solar panels, mean that the Northfield Hostel development is on track to go 63% beyond carbon reduction requirements in current building regulations.
Changes in the way building regulations for energy are calculated come into effect in June. These mean that an energy efficient hot water heat pump may be used to reduce energy usage even further.
The flats will all have electric heating.
The development will be a low parking scheme with 16 car parking spaces, each with its own electric charging point. Three spaces will be wheelchair accessible and one parking space will be for a car club.
Councillor Diko Walcott, cabinet member for affordable housing, housing security and housing the homeless, said:
“We’re committed to building the right homes for Oxford and the Northfield Hostel site will help us do just that. Affordable low carbon homes are an investment in our future, tackling poverty and systemic inequality as well as helping us on our journey to zero carbon new housing by 2030.”
Where is Littlemore?
Littlemore is a civil parish on the outskirts of Oxford, 2+1⁄2 miles southeast of the city centre. The district includes part of Rose Hill and is close to Blackbird Leys, Cowley, Kennington and Sandford-on-Thames.