OXFORD-BASED property investor and manufacturer Lucy Group and the city council are working together to transform an outdated block in Jericho to create new retail space and housing.

The project could see St Paul’s House, on the corner of Walton Street and Juxon Street, redeveloped to create new retail space on the ground floor and nine new flats, alongside refurbishing the existing eight homes.

As part of the proposals, Lucy’s – which is based nearby in Walton Well Road – plans to upgrade the block’s five council homes, including redecorating and rewiring homes, and installing new high-quality windows, doors, carpets, bathrooms and kitchens.

Lucy’s submitted a planning application to redevelop the site earlier this week.

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Mike Rowley, cabinet member for affordable housing, said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with a local company on the redevelopment of St Paul’s House.

"We see this as a win-win for Oxford – new retail units, new housing and refurbished council homes in the heart of Jericho.”

Three-storey St Paul’s House, which was built in the mid-1970s, previously housed the Jericho Health Centre on the ground floor, and eight flats.

If planning permission is granted, the redevelopment will see a side extension to the block within the site’s existing footprint and a set-back roof extension to replace the existing pitched roof. This will provide new retail units on the ground floor and nine new flats.

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St Paul’s House previously had a complicated ownership, with the NHS owning the freehold on the ground floor, the council owning the freehold on the upper two floors, and three flats being owned privately following right-to-buy purchases.

The council has signed an option agreement with Lucy’s to sell the freehold of the block, if the housing developer secures planning permission.

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The income from the sale will be ring-fenced to create new council housing in Oxford.

The council will then have a 999-year lease on the five council homes in St Paul’s House.

If the proposals go ahead, the council’s five tenants will be rehoused.