A VITAL £500m development for North Oxford should get the go-ahead, city council officers have said – with worries about affordable housing apparently resolved.

Thomas White Oxford (TWO), which is owned by St John’s College, Oxford, wants to build Oxford North on land off the A40 and A44 but many residents are opposed.

It would include 480 homes and employment space for about 4,500 jobs but Wolvercote and Summertown county councillor Paul Buckley said residents had expressed ‘horror’ about the project.

The city council had been irritated by the 25 per cent of affordable housing that TWO initially proposed and demanded more.

READ MORE: City council leader 'concerned' about affordable housing at key Oxford North development

But the city council’s leader and planning officers say the authority is happier to settle for the proposed 35 per cent.

Of that housing, 80 per cent would be social rented and the other 20 per cent would be classed as intermediate housing.

Government funding, including £10m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund, has already been pledged.

A TWO spokeswoman said: “Over the last several years, TWO and Oxford City Council have worked on a collaborative basis with a considerable amount of work carried out to realise the city council’s vision.

“Our offer is a result of the city council persuading us to continue to take a long term view alongside our £100m investment into local infrastructure and sustainability initiatives.

“It underlines our commitment to fully invest in the project, to assist the city council in securing the £15.9m government infrastructure funding that is needed for the housing, delivering a business community with new workspace for start-ups and businesses, and the much-needed 480 new homes of which 168 will be affordable homes, all of which will transform people’s lives and the wider community.”

READ MORE: Residents' 'horror' over key building that could be part of £500m Oxford North plan

Susan Brown, the city council’s leader, said: "When the Oxford North plans were published last year I expressed concern over what was being offered in the residential parts, and made clear I wanted to see as much affordable housing as possible, particularly as public money would be supporting the scheme.

"Over the past few months, our officers have been working tirelessly in discussions with the developer to see how the initial offer of 25 per cent affordable housing could be increased.

"We also sought external expert advice the question of what is viable for the site. Following this detailed work, a commitment to 35 per cent affordable housing has now been secured."

Councillors will decide the plans next Tuesday at a meeting that will be held at Oxford Town Hall from 6pm.