THE people of Jericho have been given the chance to have their say about the area.

Questionnaires have been sent to around 1,000 homes asking people for their opinions about what Jericho needs, as part of a plan to help meet the needs of the community better.

It is the first step after the Jericho Community Association decided to go about putting together a community plan earlier this year.

Jenny Mann, of the Jericho Community Association, said: “We are trying to find out what people think can be improved in the area.

“A community plan would give us some authority to back up our demands.”

Tony Joyce, of Jericho Living Heritage Trust, said: “Jericho is an easily defined community with some special interests which should certainly be included in a community plan. The whole question of the future of the Jericho boatyard is one of those issues.”

The Jericho boatyard has been lying empty for years. It has been the site of a number of proposed developments but the previous owner, Spring Residential, went into administration in 2009.

It is currently in the hands of PricewaterhouseCoopers and the local community is hoping to buy it and build a community centre on it.

The results of the survey will be collected by the community association who will then draw up a community plan in the New Year. That will then feed into a neighbourhood plan, which is a new planning document introduced in the Localism Act which became law at the end of last year.

Colin Cook, who represents Jericho on Oxford City Council as well as being the board member for city development, said a plan would define the overall look and feel of the area and would help shape the neighbourhood plan.

He said: “Information is useful from the point of view of knowing what people want and will certainly help us to try to deliver what people want to see.”

Neighbourhood plans allow communities to draw up plans for their area which carry weight when planning applications for homes and businesses are decided and will sit alongside the planning policy created by Oxford City Council.