Families may be priced out of living in South Oxhey as new details reveal there will be even less social housing on the estate.

Plans for the South Oxhey Initiative were submitted earlier this month and included 96 social homes.

Three Rivers District Council and Countryside Properties are using a grant from the HCA to build 48 social homes on the  satellite sites in Hallowes Crescent and Maylands Road.

But one condition of that grant being issued to the council is that the social housing – homes provided by the government, councils or other non-profit organisations – will be converted into affordable housing once the first tenancy comes to an end.

This means the price of those 48 homes will rise to 80 per cent of the market rate once someone moves or dies, leaving just 48 socially rented homes in South Oxhey.

The Liberal Democrat authority had promised 45 per cent of the new homes would be affordable.

Cllr Len Tippen, who represents South Oxhey at Three Rivers District Council, said “it was tantamount to social cleansing” while Cllr Joan King, who represents the estate at Hertfordshire County Council said the homes would not be affordable to people in South Oxhey.

Head of major projects at Three Rivers District Council Alan Head said that if the condition was not agreed by the council, the money would not be available.

Cllr Stephen Cox, leader of the Labour group in Three Rivers said: “It is disappointing we have arrived at this point.

“Everyone thought the 96 socially rented properties would be there to stay.

"But what we are pretty sure at this stage is that we will be down to 48 social homes.

“How can we increase the percentage of social housing to nearer 25 per cent of all new homes?”

After it emerged the council was missing its social housing target, councillors agreed to try and increase the percentage to 25 per cent by purchasing more properties.

Mr Head said: “At the moment, we are looking to see what money the council has in its own reserves to see if we can purchase more affordable homes during the planning process.

A decision could be made by the planning committee as early as Thursday, March 17.