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Archive - Tuesday, 17 May 2011
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TV property guru to reveal ideas for Oxford estates
PEOPLE in Oxford will get the first glimpse of two “Grand Designs” for their estates thanks to television star Kevin McCloud.
The TV property guru is heading an £18m regeneration project in Northway and Cowley, promising more than 100 homes and two new community centres.
And the host of Channel 4’s Grand Designs will be on site on Thursday to talk residents through his plans.
It is one of only three projects Mr McCloud is spearheading, with the others in Swindon and Stroud.
Three Oxford City Council-owned sites will be redeveloped as part of the ambitious scheme and work is expected to start next year.
The Barns Road site
The council has handed the land to Hab Oakus, a joint venture between housing association Green Square and Mr McCloud’s development company Hab.
In return, Hab Oakus will rebuild the dilapidated Northway Community Centre and the long-demolished Cowley Community Centre and hand them back to residents.
The council will also be able to strike off the £85,000 maintenance backlog at the existing Northway centre.
Council leader Bob Price said: “We are keen for the local residents in these communities to help us in developing and shaping the plans.
“We are aiming to build some very attractive and well designed homes which meet our very high environmental standards.”
The areas to be redevleoped
The sites to be redeveloped are Dora Carr Close, Northway, and Barns Road, Cowley.
A third site, at Westlands Drive in Northway, which houses the charity furniture store Emmaus, is also included in the scheme.
A new shop for the charity will be created on the Cowley site, funded by Emmaus.
Hab Oakus will build 109 flats and houses in total, with more than half being made available as affordable homes.
At Barns Road, 40 flats and a new community centre will be built along with the shop for Emmaus.
Dora Carr Close will include 41 new homes, a mix of three- and four-bed houses and flats, and the new community centre.
Twenty-eight flats will be built at Westlands Drive.
Marita Ford, Green Square’s development manager, said: “We will be asking everyone who comes to one of our public consultation events to let us know if they would like to remain involved as the project moves forward.
“We hope local people will take part in discussion groups about the housing and community centre proposals – or agree to complete surveys by email or post.”
The Hab Oakus project team – including architects AHMM and Mr McCloud – will be on site at Barns Road, opposite the Templars Square shopping centre, between 2pm and 7pm on Thursday.
Residents are invited to drop in at any time.
A planning application is expected to be submitted to the city council towards the end of the year.