New homes vetoed as play areas go on sale

Oxford Mail: Pete Bonney at one of the play areas put up for sale by the city council Pete Bonney at one of the play areas put up for sale by the city council

TWO former children’s playgrounds in Wood Farm in Oxford have been put up for sale on the condition the land is not built on.

The disused plots of land on the estate are protected from development and owner Oxford City Council say they would make ideal garden extensions.

The first, a 6,103 sq ft site off Bracegirdle Road, has been put up for sale for £10,000 and the other, a 2,542 sq ft bit of land between Wood Farm Road and Rede Close, is up for £5,000.

Oxford City Council spokeswoman Louisa Dean said: “We have two former playground sites on the market in Wood Farm.

“The new owner would be restricted to use them for a garden or amenity space.

“Often sites like this are bought by neighbours to extend their gardens.”

A restrictive covenant means building or development on the land is banned.

Nuffield Road resident Pete Bonney, 74, said neither playground has been used for more than eight years and suggested the land could be used as a community garden.

He said: “They are just wastelands and it does cost money because as long as the city council owns them they need to keep the grass cut. They may as well unload them.

“There are houses all around them so they could let each property have a piece.”

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He said the sale would be a step towards making the estate a nicer place, adding: “They have been empty for too long.”

But Liz Brighouse, Oxfordshire County Council member for Churchill and Lye Valley, said a community garden would need to be supported by the residents backing on to the land.

She said: “I presume the council hopes someone will buy it to add it to a garden.

“I am not opposed to the city council selling them but I will be interested to see who buys them. I cannot work out who would want to. They aren’t very accessible.”

A former playground off Masons Road was sold by the council last year.

Anyone interested in buying either site can call Marriotts on 01865 316 311.

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