THE developers behind a proposed 190-home community in Wolvercote have defended concerns over burglaries, fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.

CALA Homes has clarified its plans for a new housing estate, GP surgery and community centre at the Wolvercote Paper Mill site after a consultation.

The Oxford Times: CGI of the 190 homes proposed at the Wolvercote Paper Mill, Picture: Cala Homes

Thames Valley Police had raised concerns over rear access to some property and feared it could lead to burglaries and fly-tipping.

Oxford Bus Company said the bus loop was too narrow and community groups Wolvercote Neighbourhood Forum and Wolvercote Commoners shared concerns over access and construction working hours.

The Force expressed concerns over a row of 22 houses to the south of the development, which would be accessed from the rear.

A statement said: "Rear access routes should be avoided - they can introduce a high level of anonymity and a genuine excuse to be in close proximity to vulnerable rear elevations from which the majority of burglaries are perpetrated.

It added: "With a lack of surveillance and ownership over amenity land these areas are not only likely to facilitate burglary offences but also fly-tipping, criminal damage and general anti-social behaviour."

But in a response, submitting by design firm Aecom, CALA Homes said the strip of land in question would be protected by a fence and locked gates.

It said gardens would be separated to reduce risk of fly-tipping.

Other issues, such as the lack of surveillance along another row of houses and concerns over access to private terraces, were considered by the developer but will not be changed.

The development will have 95 affordable homes - both social rented housing and intermediate housing - with 50 of those one or two bed apartments.

The entrance to the development would be in between The White Hart and Jacob’s Inn pubs.

Oxford Bus Company raised issues with Mill Square - a central part of the estate in which buses and other vehicles would turn around.

Strategic development manager Laura Higgins said: "Mill Square is proposed as the turning area for the bus but the design of the roads appears very tight and we have concerns about its ability to accommodate a turning bus.

"In addition to whether the bus can turn in the loop, the square itself leaves little capacity to cope with supermarket deliveries and cars parking where they are not supposed to."

CALA Homes clarified that it had tracked a standard 12 metre bus through the square and sent the details to Oxford City Council.

It confirmed that a bus shelter would be provided along with other bus infrastructure as part of an agreed developer contribution.

The Wolvercote Neighbourhood Forum group agreed the roads seemed narrow and also said the local view was that access from Godstow Road was 'problematic' especially with deliveries arriving at the White Hart pub next to the site.

The Wolvercote Commoners community group said the turning circle appeared small but welcomed the fact that buses would enter the development.

The developer added that ten extra cycling spaces would be included.