A COUNCIL is in talks to take over surplus MoD land and create the country’s biggest self-build project.

Cherwell District Council officials are expected to meet with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and a housing minister within weeks to thrash out a deal, according to Bicester’s MP Sir Tony Baldry.

The move comes more than a year after Defence Estates, the property arm of the MoD, submitted plans to redevelop surplus land at Graven Hill for housing.

Plans have yet to be discussed by councillors.

Cherwell council wants to take on land at Graven Hill and lead housing development there.

Sir Tony said the council’s proposal was linked to Bicester achieving Garden City status, which would give the council access to a pot of Government funding of £225m.

Cherwell’s lead member for planning, Michael Gibbard, said the project was still in an early stage and housing numbers were yet to be agreed. But he said the 1,900 homes proposed by the MoD were too many for the site and if the council led the project there would be less properties built there.

He said: “There’s an aspiration. The whole of the site won’t be self-build, just a portion of it.

“We are waiting in the wings to seize on the next step forward, which would be this Garden City money.

“Having got the Garden City money, we would see what position we are in with Graven Hill.”