Construction work is progressing well at a new development in Bicester where more than half the homes have been built.

Ashberry Homes is building 123 new homes at its site off Vendee Drive in Kingsmere called 'Royal Retreat'.

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The development will have 86 houses and 37 affordable homes available for local people through rent or shared ownership.

So far, 65 of the new homes on the development have been built.

It is part of a bigger development at Kingsmere, launched back in 2010, which will provide 1,500 homes on a 287-acre site.

Other housebuilders that are building homes there include Bovis Homes, Linden Homes, David Wilson Homes, Barratt Homes and Cala Homes.

Another significant milestone which has been reached on the site is that more than 75 per cent of homes have been sold - with all but two homes being released for sale and available to reserve now.

More than two thirds of the affordable homes have now been handed over to a local housing association and residents have moved in.

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Angela Nurse, sales manager for Ashberry Homes, said: “Right from the start, Royal Retreat has been a very popular development with a range of buyers. We have found a lot of first-time buyers have moved here from the London area because they have realised that they can do so much more for their money.

“Our final two-bedroom home is priced at £335,000, more than £100,000 below the regional price cap for the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, which can be used by those taking their first step on the property ladder.

“The transport links also make it a very attractive prospect for commuters. The proximity of the M40 means you can drive to Birmingham or Heathrow in about an hour and you can get a train from Bicester Village to London Marylebone as little as 45 minutes.

“We have also seen a few people move here after downsizing from London. This is also due to the fact that the houses are great value and you can get to and from the capital with relative ease.”

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Retired teacher Margaret Jordan is one of those who have moved from the capital – from a large Victorian apartment in North London to a two-bedroom home at Royal Retreat.

Margaret said: “I wanted to leave London and I wanted to be closer to my family. My daughter had been living in Bicester for the past year and previously in Oxford, so I knew the area pretty well.

“I like the layout of the development. It is tranquil and peaceful, especially compared to London, and there is lots of greenery and nice places to walk. The house prices are also a lot cheaper compared to London too."

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