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.
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.
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
4:01pm Sunday 4th October 2015
TRAFFIC is heavy on the A34 between the Wendlebury interchange and Pear Tree Roundabout after an earlier crash.
8:30am Saturday 3rd October 2015
A YOUNG woman who fell in the river after a seizure on her way to work has thanked two boaters for saving her life.
12:26pm Saturday 3rd October 2015
An e-fit has been released today of a man police want to speak to after two children were sexually assaulted in Harwell.
11:45am Saturday 3rd October 2015
A woman was taken to hospital after a car and lorry crashed on the Eastern Bypass.
9:00am Saturday 3rd October 2015
PROTESTERS against a development that would double the size of Woodstock have said the war is still on.
8:00am Saturday 3rd October 2015
OXFORDSHIRE’S hospitals must keep driving up standards despite being awarded a national vote of confidence by the health sector regulator.