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Lobby to fight Blackbird Leys greyhound stadium homes proposals
6:00am Saturday 14th December 2013 in News
THE announcement of the date when housing plans for Oxford greyhound stadium will go in front of councillors has heralded a “vital next step” in the campaign against its closure.
Plans outlined by developer Galliard and drawn up by agent Savills have been submitted to Oxford City Council.
The developer wants to build 220 homes on the site of the stadium, which closed its doors in December last year.
The plans have been condemned by greyhound racing and speedway fans across the city and beyond, and the city council has officially decided to oppose development on the site.
But a decision will have to be made on planning grounds when the city’s east area planning committee votes on the plans on January 8.
And campaigners against the closure and redevelopment of the site said the next few weeks represented a key stretch of their fight.
Save Oxford Stadium chairman Ian Sawyer said: “This is a very critical time for the campaign, and that is why we need the public to really support us and help us prove the stadium is wanted in Oxford.
“We are hoping to get as many people along to the planning meeting as possible, and we will be hoping the council will stand by what it has said and turn down planning permission.’’
Oxford East MP and Blackbird Leys resident Andrew Smith said: “This is a vital next step in our campaign. I am confident the council will turn down the planning application, but we will leave nothing to chance.
“Councillors will be left in no doubt as to the overwhelming strength of support to save the stadium, and also the real commercial interest there is acquiring it so that it can be reopened for a full range of community leisure activities including greyhound racing and speedway.
“We also stand ready to lobby the government and all the county’s MPs if the applicants decide to go to the government to appeal against refusal. More than 2000 people have already signed our petition, from all over the county.”
Campaigners can help the cause by signing the petition, which can be found online by searching for save Oxford stadium or getting involved in the Save Oxford Stadium Facebook group.
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