City Council to build new social housing at former Royal British Legion club site in Barton

Published: Monday, 27th January 2020

Oxford City Council has secured planning permission to build seven homes, including new social housing, in Barton.

The project, on the site of the former Royal British Legion Club in Edgecombe Road, will consist of three homes for Social Rent and four for Affordable Rent.

Social housing is typically about 50% of average private market rent in an area, while Affordable Rent is set, the Government, at 80% of average private market rent in an area.

Poppy motif to commemorate heritage

The Royal British Legion clubhouse, which will be demolished to make way for the new homes, has been derelict for more than four years.

Barton residents were consulted during the design of the homes. The new homes will be in keeping with the appearance of Edgecombe Road housing and a poppy motif will be incorporated into the brickwork to commemorate the site’s heritage.

The site has Barton Neighbourhood Centre – which was reopened by Prince Harry last year following £1m investment from the City Council – and Barton Leisure Centre nearby.

Environmentally-friendly build

As part of the development, solar panels will be installed on the roofs. The exact number of photovoltaic panels has not yet been decided.

The development will include two covered areas for storing up to 17 bicycles. It will only include one parking bay for each home, plus one additional disabled space.

The project aims to increase the biodiversity value of the site, as native species of grasses, shrubs and bulbs will be planted. Bird boxes for Swifts will also be installed.

Planning permission granted

The City Council’s wholly-owned housing company, Oxford City Housing Limited, submitted the planning application. East Area Planning Committee approved the plans earlier this month (15/1).

Oxford City Housing Limited aims to start work on the site this summer, with an aim of completing the new homes in early 2021.

The properties, which will be built to the Lifetime Homes standard, will then be owned and managed by the City Council.

There are currently about 2,645 families on the waiting list for social housing in Oxford.

“Oxford desperately needs new genuinely affordable housing, so I am delighted that work has started to build new social housing in Barton.

“There are very few large sites for housing left within Oxford’s boundaries, so we need to maximise the use of these smaller sites whenever they come up to build new homes for the city’s young people.”

Councillor Mike Rowley, cabinet member for affordable housing