Householders are concerned a city council proposal to build nearly 300 homes at the heart of Blackbird Leys has disregarded fears about the “lack of parking spaces for vehicles” and will increase the strain on GP surgeries.

The planning application, put forward by developer Catalyst, sets out plans for 293 rented and shared ownership homes across two sites, the District Centre and Knights Road.

However, residents are worried not enough consideration has been given to where new homeowners will park their cars, with only 84 car parking spaces allocated to 84 two-to-three-bedroom homes and none at the District Centre development where 210 homes will be built.

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Householder Andrea Tyler, from Acacia Avenue, wrote on the planning portal: “From what I can see there is going to be hardly any parking for vehicles.

“As much as the city council does not want people to own a vehicle, people do and sometimes have two per household.

“Where are all the vehicles going to go?”

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A total of 210 of the proposed new houses will be in the district centre, 83 per cent of which will be for rent and 17 per cent shared ownership.

In its submission, the parish council said the proposals are “simply untenable” and warned the council must not allow a “poorly developed plan for low car use to dominate how the regeneration scheme will be ultimately measured”.

Resident Jennifer Symonds, from Knights Road, echoed these concerns on the planning portal and said: “There will be huge parking issues across the whole of this development.

“The council cannot even police the parking now during football games.

“We have been told the new flats will be only given to tenants without vehicles so how will you police this?”

The parish council fears the development will increase the demand for GP services.

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The health impact assessment report acknowledged The Leys Health Centre, lying 200m from the District Centre, already has a patient list which exceeds the target list of GPs to patient ratio of 1,800 by 14 per cent.

Richard Shirley, who lives on Pegasus Road, said: “The council has ignored the public and is set to build this monstrosity that will no doubt strain all our local resources.”

Linda Smith, the city council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “The only way to build at high density in these city centre locations is to have car free or very low car use schemes.

“There simply isn’t the space for lots of extra cars.”

When Ms Smith was challenged on the car free tenant condition she said: “People will have to make a choice.

“If people want a home with a driveway, then it might not be the location for them.”

Joe Marshall, the regional managing director for North Counties at Peabody, which Catalyst is part of, said: “The redevelopment of Blackbird Leys will see hundreds of much-needed new affordable homes, improved biodiversity in the area and the creation of a new community hub for local people.”

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Ed specialises in writing political stories for the Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times. 

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