Tackling the housing crisis one step at a time

Published: Friday, 1st September 2023

OX Place and ODS have completed the refurbishment of an existing council home and the construction of a new home in Foxwell Drive.

Oxford City Council’s housing and direct services companies teamed up to deliver the project as part of OX Place’s extensions programme.

Work at Foxwell Drive involved the modernisation of an empty two-bed house, with enhanced insulation and changes to the internal layout to provide an extended kitchen and new bathroom.

ODS also built a new three-bed house on the site using timber frame construction. This is faster, uses less energy and results in less waste to landfill than traditional builds. The new home has enhanced insulation, solar PV panels and an air source heat pump.

Both homes will be let to families on the council’s housing register.

ODS is also working on an OX Place project in Valentia Road. This is turning a three-bed house into one with five bedrooms and the potential to turn a ground-floor room into a sixth bedroom. A new ground-floor shower room means the refurbished home can be used flexibly for people with mobility needs.

OX Place extensions programme

People with large families and with changing mobility needs can find themselves trapped in overcrowded and unsuitable homes.

The extensions programme is helping deliver more council homes with five or more bedrooms and more adaptable council homes.

This involves work like changing internal layouts, loft conversions and building extensions to adapt and provide larger homes. It also means modernising council homes by installing new windows and other improvements like enhanced insulation, energy-efficient lighting and new wiring.

Delivered in partnership with Jessop and Cook Architects, the extensions programme is also helping provide new affordable homes where empty council homes have large garden plots.


“Providing more affordable homes doesn’t just mean eye-catching big developments. Small steps are also needed. This means making the most of what we’ve got by modernising and extending suitable council homes when they become vacant and building additional new homes on big corner plots which have land to spare.

“OX Place and ODS are unlocking the potential of these small sites to deliver new council owned homes for social rent. Each new home will make a life changing difference to a household on our housing register.”

Councillor Linda Smith, cabinet member for housing

“Oxford needs homes and most importantly it needs the right homes. The extensions programme is helping OX Place provide these for people whose families have grown or with changing mobility needs and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved.”

Helen Horne, managing director at OX Place

“ODS is delighted to have completed works at Foxwell Drive. Working in partnership with Jessop and Cook Architects and OX Place, the project was completed in 30 weeks, including refurbishing the two-bed house and constructing a new three-bed property, to provide well-needed new homes.”

Mitchell Carter, ODS head of construction

“We have built a great partnership with OX Place and ODS to make the most of small infill sites of underused land. These are high-quality projects to create much-needed affordable homes for the people of Oxford. We are proud to be working on these.”

Daniel Wadsworth, director at Jessop and Cook Architects

Completed extensions programme projects

These homes have all been let to people on the council’s housing register:

  • A three-bed house in Sandy Lane was refurbished by converting a coal storage area and pantry into a modern utility room. The site was also suitable for a new three-bed and a new five-bed home, built using modular construction with prefabricated panels assembled onsite.
  • A three-bed house in Pauling Road was reconfigured and refurbished to bring it up to modern standards and a new, fully adaptable three-bed home built on the site.
  • A loft conversion in Weirs Lane added a fourth bedroom to a three-bed home.
  • An extension in Sparsey Place turned a three-bed house into a fully adaptable home with five bedrooms and two bathrooms.
  • Modernisation and an extension turned a two-bed house in Union Street into a fully adaptable home with five bedrooms.


In addition to Foxwell Drive and Valentia Road, ODS completed work at Sandy Lane, Sparsey Place and Union Street.

Sandy Lane, Pauling Road and Foxwell Drive were supported with £246,000 in funding from the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth deal.

Handover of a refurbished and a new council home in Foxwell Drive