SELLING off an old swimming pool and two other parcels of land was described as a win-win situation as councillors discussed the plan.

The old swimming pool in Blackbird Leys could be incorporated into a major new regeneration scheme Oxford City Council is planning, if they accept an offer to buy it from Oxfordshire County Council.

The county council’s cabinet, its most senior councillors, agreed that the authority should declare the swimming pool 'surplus to requirement and sell it off at a meeting yesterday (Tuesday, August 18).

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As part of the deal, the County also wants to sell part of a site at Northfield Hostel on Sandy Lane, and an old depot at Lanham Way, both in Littlemore.

As the cabinet approved the sale, councillor Lawrie Stratford said the sale was a good example of the two councils co-operating.

Mr Stratford said: “We are often criticised for not working together, or falling out with one another but this is one example where both sides are winners.”

The county council looks after roads, education and social care across Oxfordshire, while the city council looks after things like housing, leisure and collecting bins within Oxford.

While the county has agreed to sell off the land, as a result of it all being ‘surplus to requirements’, the city council still needs to agree to buy it from them.

This will be decided at its own cabinet meeting in September.

It has not yet been revealed how much the three parcels of land could be sold for, as this information is considered to be confidential while the sale is not yet final.

At the county’s meeting, its leader Ian Hudspeth said the sale would be ‘vital’ for building affordable homes in Oxford.

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Ian Hudspeth

Mr Hudspeth added: “Having a good quality, affordable home gives everybody the best start in life. While there are some people who question it, we do need to do everything in our powers to deliver good quality affordable homes.”

The Northfield Hostel site will only be partly sold, with the County Council keeping ownership of a playing field there.

But the rest of this site, and the depot at Lanham Way are being flogged to the city council on the proviso that they will be used to build 100 per cent affordable housing on them both.

The Blackbird Leys swimming pool site is currently used by the Oxfordshire Scouts as a headquarters and is just behind the community centre.

It is intended to be redeveloped and used towards a scheme the city council has already started, which aims to regenerate the housing estate.

READ AGAIN about the plan to regenerate Blackbird Leys here

This plan could lead to 287 new homes being built in several areas of the estate, as well as new shops, offices, and a ‘village green’ area.

The Blackbird Leys Regeneration Scheme has been in the pipeline for several years, but earlier this year, Oxford City Council signed a deal with housing association Catalyst to help get the new homes built.

In May, the council also committed £21m of funding towards it, with the total cost expected to be more than £100 million.

Grants from the government and funding from housing developers will help to make up the rest of the funding.