Never miss anything again. Sign up for our RSS news feeds and Newsletters.

‘We’ll back you if there is more affordable housing’

THE church at the centre of the Jericho boatyard development in Oxford has said it will only support it if there is more affordable housing.

Oxford Mail: St Barnabas Church council member Dr Henry Gibbon. Picture: OX68812 Jon Lewis

St Barnabas Parochial Church Council has said it will support the proposals but demand the quota is met.

Developers of the site Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF) plan to build just seven affordable flats out of a total of 22.

That would still mean 32 per cent are affordable, but Oxford City Council’s planning policy says the minimum required is 50 per cent.

Church council member Dr Henry Gibbon said: “As a faith community we are committed to social justice and will insist that the 50 per cent level is met.

“We think this development is a very powerful and attractive vision for Jericho but we continue to listen with interest to the community’s concerns.”

SIAHAF is still negotiating with residents’ group the Jericho Wharf Trust (JWT) over the price of a community centre included in the plans.

Oxford Mail:

 An artist’s impression of the Jericho boatyard development 

The trust has hit out at the developer for locating the building above a planned boatyard and workshop facility and claims it has pushed up the price by £1.6m – to £6.6m.

JWT chairwoman Phyllis Starkey said unless SIAHAF paid the extra cost of the community centre, the group would not support the scheme.

She said: “If it is prepared to use some of its profits to do so, we will be happy to support the proposal.”

The trust is seeking assurances that the piazza square, planned to be the centrepiece of the development, will go into public hands.

English Heritage has also weighed in and said the commu-nity centre should be scaled back.

The Government-funded body said that in its present position the centre would block views of St Barnabas Church from Oxford Canal.

SIAHAF spokesman Nick Band said: “If you look at the scheme in its entirety, the contribution to social spaces is significant with more than 60 per cent open to the public. We have to set this against the cost of the development to reach a solution which is socially and commercially acceptable.

“We believe we have struck the right balance but are happy to hear the opinions of others.”

The public consultation period for the firm’s planning application officially ends today, though it is likely more comments will be received.

Oxford City Council’s west area planning committee is expected to consider the plans in the autumn.

Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS, SPORT and JAYDEN depending on what services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Our top stories

Black Friday: Shopping traffic causing chaos around Bicester as police warn to avoid area

Oxford Mail:

1:59pm Friday 28th November 2014

POLICE have urged people to avoid the Bicester area due to heavy traffic into Bicester Village on Black Friday.

Labour holds Blackbird Leys and Northfield Brook wards and Leys division in by-elections

Oxford Mail: Oxfordshire County Council member for Northfield Brook Steve Curran

11:58pm Thursday 27th November 2014

LABOUR has tonight comfortably held three council seats in by-elections in Oxford.

Two people held in sex trafficking investigation

Oxford Mail:

12:00am Friday 28th November 2014

TWO people have been arrested tonight on suspicion of arranging for people to be brought into Britain for the sex trade.

John Campbell desperate to seize second chance with Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Friday 28th November 2014

JOHN Campbell expects it will be a struggle to sleep tonight as he deals with excitement levels beyond anything he experienced playing in two Wembley finals.

Grant: City bids for share of £144m cycling money

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 28th November 2014

OXFORD’S share of a newly-announced £114m grant could be spent on a fully connected city cycle network or teaching cycling in schools, campaigners have said.

Drugs conspiracy case jury considers verdict

Oxford Mail: Scales of Justice

8:30am Friday 28th November 2014

The jury in the case of a pub boss and building company director accused of being involved in a drugs conspiracy has retired to consider its verdict.



About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree