PLANS to alter a slipway which provides a route for people to go punting in Oxford have been put forward.

Changes to a ‘hardstanding area’ opposite Magdalen College in High Street have been submitted via a planning application to Oxford City Council.

The slipway is adjacent to the north side of Magdalen Bridge.

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A design and heritage impact assessment states: “The slipway is located hard against Magdalen Bridge and is within a registered park and garden, and the setting of numerous designated heritage assets.

“For centuries, flat-bottomed boats had been in use in Oxford, either for carrying cargo or for fishing.

“It was not until the 1860s that the first ‘pleasure punts’ appeared.

“The River Cherwell is well placed for punting as it is slow-moving, shallow and largely free of other river traffic.

“Punts were available for hire from Cherwell Boathouse from 1904 and from Magdalen Bridge since 1911.

“Historic, visual, and material reference has been drawn from the site’s surroundings to find a solution that is sympathetic to the site’s heritage significance and has the longevity expected of external ground surfaces that form part of a streetscape.

“Visual analysis and research of Oxford shows that the city centre retains a remarkable consistency in the use of building and streetscape materials, which lend it a distinctiveness, coherence and unity which contributes to the city’s attractiveness.”

To view the application, visit the city council planning portal and use the reference number 22/01600/FUL.

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This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.

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