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Oxfordshire homes receive new investment

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has announced a major new investment to support housing and growth in Oxfordshire.Some £42 million is to be provided to speed up the provision of the 3,300-home urban extension at Great Western Park in Didcot, for which homebuilder Taylor Wimpey is leading a consortium of partners.The extra funding will be used to provide essential infrastructure, support the early release of land on the site, and enable the development of 2,586 new homes, a new district centre, three schools, a new university technical college and community and healthcare facilities.HCA executive director for the south and south-west Colin Molton said: "This investment will play an absolutely critical role in unlocking the full potential of Great Western Park, which is an essential part of the area's growth ambitions."It will support plans to create 16,000 new jobs at the enterprise zone sites by providing homes, training and community facilities that will be needed. And it will create and safeguard additional jobs on site while construction work continues."It is hoped the money will speed up the overall rate of housebuilding at Great Western Park from 180 to around 280 homes a year. This should increase the number of jobs in construction from around 400 to approximately 650 at its peak.The funds will also help to provide better road links and deliver more affordable properties local partners say the area requires. Over 700 new homes have been created on the Great Western Park to date.The news comes as the government announced it is simplifying housing standards to ensure homes can be built to a high standard more cheaply and easily.Measures announced by communities minister Stephen Williams will reduce 100 standards to fewer than ten and cut the number of pages of guidance from 1,000 to fewer than 100 - saving councils and developers both time and money.House builders will no longer their work checked by the planning authority, a Code for Sustainable Homes Assessor, a building control organisation, the HCA and independent standard assessors.Instead, building control bodies alone will be required to assess new system technical requirements. 

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