Oxford University has confirmed it plans to sell off the Wolvercote Paper Mill site as a potential housing development.

Wolvercote Commoners chairman Michael Buck welcomed the news that it would be developed.

He said: “It was inevitable that there would be some housing there, but I am concerned that there should be some affordable houses there. One of the problems is that our children cannot afford to live here. It will be good to see the land put to use again.”

The mill itself was demolished in 2004.

In 2005 the university put forward plans for a £40m scheme including 200 homes for staff on the 17-acre site.

But the plans were scaled back to reduce costs, then shelved last year.

Production of paper at Wolvercote dated back to at least 1674 and it was claimed that during the 18th century it made the best white paper in England.

The mill was bought by Oxford University Press in 1870 and continued to supply OUP with paper until its closure in 1998.

University spokesman Matt Pickles said: “Outline planning consent will be sought for residential development, prior to doing so. This will provide much-needed housing for Oxford and funds that will be utilised by the university for teaching and research on its core sites.

“The university will be keen to engage with the local community, stakeholders and councillors in delivering appropriate development of the site.”