Housing minister Christopher Pincher has pledged that infrastructure will be a top priority when it comes to new developments.

He spoke out on a visit to Graven Hill, the UK’s largest custom and self-build development site in Bicester.

It followed the Government’s launch of a 12-week consultation to create a vision for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc Spatial Framework, which aims to guide the growth of the area until 2050.

The framework is a long-term strategic plan for boosting long-term economic growth in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

Mr Pincher said: “We are levelling up the whole country and unlocking the huge potential of the entire Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

“Places like Graven Hill show just how we can build high-quality, well-designed, new homes and make sure this popular area continues to be a beautiful place to live, work and visit.”

Mr Pitcher told the Mail that developers should deliver on their promises of appropriate infrastructure.

He said: “In the past we have seen big estates built without appropriate infrastructure. That’s changing. So here at Graven Hill, a primary school is being built, allotments are being provided, there’s going to be a renewable energy centre – a pub is being put on this site as well for those people who want to get out and have a pint in the summer sunshine.

"So we do need to make sure that the right infrastructure is available and in places like Graven Hill we are doing just that.

“It’s not about planning reforms. We want to make sure that infrastructure is put on site earlier rather than later. It’s what local councils and local people want and expect rather than seeing plans changed or diluted down the line..”

Asked if he felt there had been sufficient responses on which to base such major policy decisions, he said: “Well, we’re getting a lot of feedback and we need to get more, that’s why the consultation is still open for another couple of weeks and I encourage as many people as possible to get involved, give us that feedback.

“We can then generate from those ideas about where people want to live, the sort of homes they want, the sort of transport infrastructure they want, the kind of jobs they want to go to, we can then build policy ideas which we can then test again with people.

“So this is not the end of the road, so to speak, it is the beginning of the road.”

He said the Government would work with local authorities on identifying potential development sites.

He added: “We want to work with local councils. They are still the fundamental building blocks of planning policy and they are going to remain the fundamental building blocks of planning policy. We will work with them, based on the feedback that we get to identify where maybe good opportunities to develop new jobs, new homes, new infrastructure, but we want to work with local people to make sure that they’re brought into that proposition as well.”

And he said the country needs more affordable homes.

“We need to make sure there are affordable homes across our country, but here in the Ox-Cam Arc there are some real challenges. If you go to Cambridge, property prices are 12 times the average salary. You do need to make sure that we’ve got homes that people can afford. That’s one of the reasons why we are introducing a new proposition which is First Homes which is affordable homes to be purchased by people at least 30 per cent market value.

“It’s why we’ve spent something like £12 billion on our affordable homes programme building 180,000 new homes across the country, 4,000 of which have been in Oxfordshire.

“We want to make sure that we are building more affordable homes for people and here on Graven Hill 30 per cent of the homes will be affordable.”

He said the Government would prioritise brownfield sites.

The ministerial visit included a tour around the site.

Mr Pincher and Cllr Barry Wood, leader of Cherwell District Council, were also on hand to cut the ribbon on the next residential phase at Graven Hill which will see 18 new plots released for sale this weekend as part of the Build It Live event in Bicester.

Cllr Wood said: “The UK is moving in the right direction when it comes to advocating self and custom build as an alternative to traditional housing.”