Oxford City Council has applied for permission from itself for controversial plans to build new homes at the East Oxford Community Centre.

The plans would see homes built on Princes Street and Collins Street, off Cowley Road.
The plans have proved deeply unpopular with community and arts groups using the community centre who have companied at losing their home.

A planning document states the council's intention is to "improve and extend the provision of community facilities and to consolidate the existing community centre building within the Princes street site, while also looking at proposed residential development on the Collins Street and Princes Street sites."

It describes the much-loved community centre and East Oxford Games Hall site in Collins Street as 'brownfield' sites.

The Princes Street proposals would sees the refurbishment of the existing community centre and the creation of a modern extension to the building for new community uses. The remainder of the site at Princes Street would be used to deliver an apartment block housing 12 affordable flats.

The plans for Collins Street would see the demolition of East Oxford Games Hall and the redevelopment of an apartment block with 14 shared-ownership flats.

In the plans, BM3 Architecture and Arcadis on behalf of Oxford City Council, say: "The proposed residential schemes aim to create safe, attractive and accessible residential developments, which successfully integrates the existing site into the surrounding neighbourhoods, helping to address local regeneration."

READ MORE: Plans for new homes on Woodstock Road, Oxford

"The existing East Oxford Games Hall presents itself as an under utilised council asset and provides the opportunity for redevelopment by delivering additional housing that will help to broaden local opportunities and secure other area based improvements.

"The community centre presents itself as a well used council asset that needs regeneration to increase the need for affordable housing and address the social, economic and environmental needs of its community."

Oxford Mail: The design of East Oxford Community Centre and Princes Street. Picture: Oxford City CouncilThe design of East Oxford Community Centre and Princes Street. Picture: Oxford City Council

On Princes Street, the shape of the apartment block would be laid out in a L-shape creating a large private shared amenity space at the back of the site, this would also stop the site overlooking neighbouring homes.

A shared surface drive separates the residential apartments and the new extension to the community centre. The shared surface driveway allows residences access to the private shared amenity space and enclosed and secure cycle storage to the rear of the property.

Oxford Mail: What the apartments on Collins Street could look like. Picture: Oxford City CouncilWhat the apartments on Collins Street could look like. Picture: Oxford City Council

On Collins Street, the concept for the apartment block would create "continuity with the surrounding residential context of two storey Victorian terrace houses".

It design would also create a "distinct character but still in keeping with the general materials being used in the surrounding streets".


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This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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