A COMMUNITY group said plans to redevelop Jericho boatyard could be put forward early next year.

Jericho Wharf Trust (JWT) has met developers over plans for the Castle Mill Boatyard in St Barnabas Street.

It says a series of workshops and public consultation will take place over the next few months before a planning application is submitted.

Trust spokesman Peter Stalker said: “Following the initial discussions, the intention is to follow up with a series of workshops involving the JWT and the architects to consider the possibilities.

“This should allow for a further progress update before Christmas.

“If successful, these meetings could be followed by public consultations, with the ambition of applying for planning permission early next year.”

Earlier this month the Oxford Mail revealed that administrators were in talks with a development company over buying the site.

The site found itself in the hands of an administrator when developer and landowner Spring Residential went into administration in 2009 after failing to get planning permission to redevelop the boatyard.

It ceased to operate as a working boatyard in 1992 and since then there have been four attempts to develop it.

The JWT, made up of local bodies including Jericho Community Association and the St Barnabas parochial church council, had been in talks with PricewaterhouseCoopers over buying the site but these attempts now seem to be over.

The JWT has now met with developers Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF) to find out more about the proposals.

City councillor for Jericho Colin Cook, who is also executive board member for city development, said: “It is certainly good news that the developers seem willing to work with the Jericho Wharf Trust.

“I get the impression that the architects they are using are the same as the trust is using so they will know what the trust’s aspirations for the site are.

“In many ways they have saved themselves a considerable amount of time and effort.”

Oxford City Council has drawn up a blueprint for how the 1.2 acre site should be developed.

If the blueprint is approved by the authority, this would mean developers would have to include a new community centre, housing and a public square as part of the scheme.

The city council was consulting on this but the consultation ended on Friday.

SIAHAF declined to comment.