IT IS fantastic news that the Victorian heritage of Jericho is finally being recognised (Friday’s Oxford Mail), and it is obviously long overdue.
The ‘Venice’ of Oxford, as described by author Philip Pullman, is one of Oxford’s jewels in its studded crown, and has been hauled over the coals in recent years due to proposed flats building, with a long list of concerned residents fighting to save its charming 19th century heritage.
With a call for conservation status on the cards, Jericho’s place in Britain’s history is hopefully assured, and it’s reassuringly satisfying to know the development scandals of the past few years are definitely on the back-burner (after Spring Residential’s permission for 54 flats on the former Castle Mill boatyard gloriously failed). It is a testament to actor Kevin Whately, Philip Pullman and the many others who have campaigned for Jericho’s cause in an era of aggressive developers seeking land seemingly at any cost for what some people may say is rabid exploitation.
Building developers are like hungry predators moving in for the kill, with local resident protests becoming the norm.
Jericho’s story is a moral victory for common sense and the constant, enriching legacy of Britain’s fascinating history over modern day greed and calculating opportunism.
DAVID TINSON Moorland Road, Witney