A CONTROVERSIAL plan for homes on a former sportsground is set to be decided tomorrow.

Plans to build 86 houses and flats at William Morris Close are set for debate at Oxford City Council’s east planning area committee at 6pm.

The plans for homes on the old playing field were turned away by the committee earlier this year after concerns at the number of new homes on the site, including from Old Temple Cowley Residents Association.

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Cantay Estates, the developer behind the plans, has now reduced the number of homes from 102 down to 86.

This reduction of 16 homes has come from a decision to reduce the height of some of the high rise buildings planned for the site.

Oxford Mail:

An artists impression of the flat blocks at the heart of the William Morris Close site.

A report to Oxford Council Council’s east planning committee recommends the outline plans for approval.

It also recommends delegating council decisions about the homes to the head of planning.

The revised plans include four three-storey flat blocks in the centre of the site, surrounding an open square.

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To the east there are two three-storey blocks of flats and a row of two-storey homes.

There is a smaller row of two-storey homes to the west.

There are also car and bicycle parking spaces, gardens, and space for bins.

Oxford Mail:

How the site looks at the moment.

In the city council’s draft local plan, the area is designated as a sports pitch, so if it is replaced by homes, a new playing field must be built to replace it elsewhere in Oxford.

The report to council says this new sportsground would be funded as part of a contract with Cantay Estates called a section 106 agreement.

Cantay Estates would contribute £600,000 towards a new sports facility in east Oxford.

The land at William Morris Close was once a set of playing fields used by the Morris Motors Social Club.

Oxford Mail:

William Morris Close from above, including the playing fields. Picture: Google Maps.

The nearby Tyndale Community School also used the fields at one point.

Several developments have been proposed for the site in the past, including an unsuccessful attempt in 2013.

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There were calls for the council to buy the site in 2017 for use as a public area.

View the latest plans at oxford.gov.uk using reference code 18/03330/OUT. Members of public are welcome to attend tomorrow's meeting.