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'Only 10,200 new homes' can be built in Oxford

There is only enough available space in Oxford to build 10,200 homes, equating to just 32 per cent to 43 per cent of the city's housing need, according to a new study.The report, which was commissioned by Oxford City Council, has revealed that there is only enough land in the area to build 10,200 new properties, leaving a shortfall of around 21,800 to meet the need for housing.According to the Oxford Land Availability and Unmet Need Assessment - also known as the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) - has pinpointed sites that have the potential for housing and student accommodation developments from now until 2031.However, the study doesn't allocate land for residential areas, which would need to be done through a separate review. Before construction could begin on any of the sites identified by the SHLAA, planning permission would need to be granted.In addition, the report factored in developments completed in the last three years and predicted that 180 homes per year would be constructed on smaller sites that have yet to be identified.Two areas in the green belt -  space near St Frideswide Farm, on the edge of north Oxford and land opposite Redbridge Park and Ride on the edge of south Oxford - could be used to build the homes the city desperately needs, holding 150 and 180 respectively.According to Oxford City Council, the SHLAA provides irrefutable proof for the need for a sustainable urban extension to meet the area's housing needs.Commenting on the report, councillor Bob Price, leader of Oxford City Council, said: "In light of this enormous need, the city council were determined to ensure the most thorough assessment yet of the availability of housing land in Oxford."In line with national guidance, the study equally recognises the need to protect the integrity of our natural and historic assets, as well as safeguarding sports and community infrastructure [that are] so important to the wellbeing of local communities."He added that the shortfall identified by the study, leaving no doubt that a review of Oxford's green belt is needed to allow for a sustainable urban extension that is urgently needed.The council also believes that the SHLAA should form the basis of an agreement with neighbouring districts regarding Oxford housing need and how this could be accommodated outside of the city's boundaries. 

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