JERICHO WHARF NEWS ITEM
Back to the drawing board
Posted - Dec 04, 2017
SIAHAF is developing new plans for Jericho Wharf
The developer of the Jericho Wharf site, SIAHAF, has decided to apply for a new planning permission for the site. The Jericho Wharf Trust has not seen any new proposals but understands that these will involve reconfiguring the layout of the community facilities.
Jericho Wharf Chair Phyllis Starkey says: “This is not the news we have been hoping for. The Jericho Wharf Trust has worked hard with the developer over several years, investing considerable amounts of time, energy and money, to agree plans that met the aspirations of the people of Jericho and the city of Oxford for this iconic site.”
“Nevertheless, we have agreed to work closely with SIAHAF again, to ensure that the new proposals also deliver what is needed. In particular, there should be a working Boatyard, a lively public square, and a fully functioning, and sustainable, Community Centre – facilities that the people of Jericho, the boating community and the City Council have been planning for many years. Since any further delay to these facilities would be a great disappointment to everyone, it is important that SIAHAF manage to stay with their declared intention to start construction work before the end of 2018”
The new Boatyard, to be operated by a professional manager for the Jericho Community Boatyard, will allow people to work on their own boats, or use professional engineers, using two dry docks and one wet dock to enable both boat maintenance and building. Supporting facilities needed include workshops, a launderette a bunkhouse and a chandlery.
The new Community Centre, run by the Jericho Community Association, will have an all-day café – an affordable location where locals and visitors can meet and enjoy the canalside venue. The Centre’s main activity space will be a multi-functional hall that will provide indoor sports facilities, which are sorely lacking in this part of Oxford, while also serving as the venue for social events. There will also be a smaller hall with a sprung floor that can be used for dance and other classes and offer practice space for music groups. An important additional source of income will be from a drop-in ICT business hub. A portion of the new Centre has also been allocated for pre-school facilities for which there is a
high demand. There will also be a heritage centre which will provide information about Jericho’s rich history.
In cooperation with the Parochial Church Council, the Jericho Community Association has been managing the existing Jericho Community Centre, using a self-financing, cross-subsidy business model which has enabled it to operate without external subsidy for the past 20 years. Similarly, in the new Centre, activities such as sports, low-cost counseling and adult education on the first floor will be cross-subsidized by income from local businesses and by renting offices to charities on the top floor. The City Council will be making a significant contribution of land for the new building, but has made it clear that there will be no ongoing subsidy, so the new Centre will need sufficient space to be viable and self-sufficient.
This will be the fifth planning proposal for the site since 2000. Some earlier proposals foundered in part because they did not take account of community needs. The Jericho Wharf Trust hopes to work with SIAHAF to ensure that this does not happen again.
There also a story related to this on Jericho Online which you can read by CLICKING HERE.