JERICHO WHARF NEWS ITEM

Jericho Wharf proposals could cost community an extra £1.6 million

<p>Left to right: a tree on the canal bank, the canal, the community hall above the boatyard, and the new community centre. For scale, is the outline of St Barnabas Church.</p>

Left to right: a tree on the canal bank, the canal, the community hall above the boatyard, and the new community centre. For scale, is the outline of St Barnabas Church.

Posted - Jun 23, 2014

Fundraising implications of SIAHAF plans

The Jericho Wharf Trust has expressed concerns that the latest planning application for the Jericho canalside site will increase the cost of building the new community facilities on the site.

The property development company, the Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF), has applied for planning permission to develop the site. These plans have now been published on the Oxford City Council website.

Jericho Wharf Trust Chair Phyllis Starkey says. “For the developer this proposal appears feasible, but for the community it will be expensive. Because the developer has allocated a limited amount of land for community facilities, part of the community centre has to be built above the boatyard. This makes the community facilities more structurally complex and therefore more costly to build.”

The developer proposes that the community facilities be built on the northern part of the site, much of which is owned by the Council. It will build housing on the more valuable land, mostly along the canal. The two halves are linked by a public square, which includes a restaurant. There is also a new bridge across the canal.

Phyllis Starkey says: “This has major implications for the Jericho Wharf Trust which has to raise the funds to build the boatyard and the community centre. Our original plans involved two separate facilities. In total, these would have cost around £5.0 million to build. But for this combined facility, our bill is likely to be around £6.6 million. The developer’s proposals mean we have to raise an additional £1.6 million.”

“This raises doubts about the viability of SIAHAF’s plans. When the City Council considers whether the developer’s scheme is financially viable it must take into account not just the implications of the required proportion of social housing, but also the costs of building the community facilities. Careful consideration will need to be made of how any funding gaps can be met.”

The planning application is now open for public consultation. It is available on the Planning website - click HERE. You will need to accept the conditions and then use the reference number 14/01441/FUL.

Individuals and organizations can comment or object. To assist in this process, the Jericho Community Association will be holding a public meeting on July 21st at 7.30 p.m. at St Barnabas School.

Community facilities groundfloor plan. Left to right: the pre-school, the heritage exhibition space, the community cafe and the boatyard.

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