Published: Wednesday, 2 August 2023

A 61-home development on a disused hostel and sports field in Littlemore is now set to be 100% affordable.

In 2022, Oxford City Council gave detailed planning permission for 51 council homes on the site of Northfield Hostel, a former special school which closed in 2014.

At the same time, Oxfordshire County Council was given outline permission to build 10 homes for market sale on the adjacent sports field, which has been boarded up since the school closed.

Next week, cabinet is expected to approve plans to buy the sports field from the county council and appoint council housing company OX Place to deliver 10 affordable homes on the site.

The council currently expects these will be made up of six 3-bed and four 4-bed houses. Six will be council homes let at social rent to people on the housing register. The remaining four homes will be sold for shared ownership.

A further detailed planning application for the sports field site could be submitted by late 2023.

Demolition of Northfield Hostel is expected to start in October.


“We’re already delivering 51 affordable homes at Northfield Hostel and demolition of the building should begin in the next few months. We now have the opportunity to build 10 more affordable homes by buying the disused sports field next door and I’m looking forward to OX Place delivering this project for the council.”

Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Housing


Social rent takes account of the size and value of a home and average regional incomes. Oxford council tenants typically pay around 40% of the rent a private landlord would charge for the same home.

House prices in Oxford are more than 12 times household earnings, compared to eight times earnings for England as a whole.

Shared ownership helps people onto the housing ladder by buying a share – between 10% and 75% initially – for their home. This makes home ownership a reality for people like key workers, first-time buyers and under-40s who would otherwise be priced out of Oxford.

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