THE leader of Oxford City Council has said that Royal Mail’s refusal to cooperate in the Oxpens redevelopment wouldn’t be a “showstopper”.

Bob Price was speaking after Royal Mail announced that it had no intention of moving from its Oxpens Road delivery office.

The redevelopment is expected to include houses and flats, offices, research and development space, a hotel and public square, with Oxpens Meadow preserved.

Most of the 20-acre site is owned by the city council and by the Department for Transport and negotiations are currently taking place with the four other bodies who own the rest of the land – Oxford Citizen’s Housing Association, Esso, Milton Property Investment and Royal Mail.

The Royal Mail delivery office is one of the buildings which would have to make way for the development. But a spokesman said the company has “no plans” to relocate.

Mr Price said: “Royal Mail has been talking to us for a long time now about moving to a new site but if they didn’t move that’s fine, there is no particular need for them to move.

“Their building can be retained but it just changes the nature of what goes around it.

“It would not be a showstopper, it would just make it less easy to develop in an entirely desirable way.”

Mr Price said the other landowners seemed enthusiastic about the proposals and the current initial plans have been put together on the basis that every building will be demolished. The council’s executive board is setting aside £320,000 to progress the project and hopes to reach a development agreement over the next year.

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