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Rented homes designs go on show this week
DESIGNS for new affordable homes to be built in Botley go on show this week.
The £900,000 housing co-operative scheme is the first of its kind in Oxford and only the second in the county.
The aim – by the volunteer-run not-for-profit company Oxfordshire Community Land Trust (OCLT) – is to offer affordable homes for people who work or are originally from the area but cannot afford buy or rent.
Designs for two to four homes will be revealed at two public consultation events, on Friday and Saturday. The Friday event is from 6pm until 8pm and the one on Saturday from 10am to noon at St Andrews Church Hall, in Orchard Road.
Arrangements are still being finalised for a formal planning application to be submitted to Vale of White Horse District Council this month.
They are likely to be for either two semi-detached homes or four flats on land between Eynsham Road and Pinnocks Way.
Co-chairman of the OCLT, Fran Ryan, said: “The aim is to rent them out for people who have either worked or live near the site. If people cannot afford to stay in the area they move away and the community starts to collapse and people have to commute long distances. This kind of thing is more common in countries like Sweden and Denmark but here we think we have failed if we do not buy our own land; we are hell bent on owning our own home.”
The trust was formed in 2003, but the 0.07 hectare plot is the first site it has managed to secure. Land and building costs are estimated at £900,000 – funded by donations, loans, grants and investments.
About 16 people have so far shown interest in the project. Tenants would be chosen by OCLT with help from Vale of White Horse District Council.
Tenants would then become members of the housing co-operative and be involved in running and managing it themselves.
Ms Ryan added: “It is very challenging doing this in an urban environment. In Oxford land with planning permission can cost up of £2 million an acre and there is not a lot in Oxford – it is pretty much built up.”
Bristol-based Askew Architects is designing the homes.