CALLS for dilapidated buildings in Wood Farm to be replaced with community facilities have been made after the site was put on the market.

Oxfordshire County Council has asked for statements of interest in the Marywood House site in Leiden Road.

Buildings on the land have been empty for 10 years since the former residential home for people with learning difficulties closed.

Now community leaders have called for the site to be turned into something the community can benefit from.

County councillor Liz Brighouse said: “This site has been vacant for far too long.

“The buildings are not in the best state so the site will need to be cleared and something of community value should be put in its place.

“I’m pleased that something seems to be happening with the site.

“If the county council can sell it off that would be great, and if it could be replaced with something more community-focused, with some specialist housing, then that would be even better.”

Mrs Brighouse said the site had stood empty for so long because of a caveat placed on it by a planning inspector after it closed.

She said: “A Government inspector said it couldn’t be housing until more community facilities were built in Wood Farm. At the time there weren’t enough things for the community.”

The news comes after years of campaigning to get the site back into use.

In 2003 an outline planning application for housing was submitted to Oxford City Council, but it was rejected because the plans did not include social housing.

An appeal against the decision was dismissed in 2005, and the same year the Oxford Local Plan identified the land as a potential development opportunity.

In 2006 Independent Working Class Association councillor Claire Kent called for the site to be developed to provide social housing.

Then, in 2010, the county council announced its intention to sell the site for housing, which was welcomed by residents.

Council spokesman Martin Crabtree said the council had put the site up for sale because it was deemed surplus to requirements. There was no guide price and the council was asking for offers, he added.