City Council vision for the canalside site

The SPD uses JWT's massing sketch as "An indicative illustrative drawing of the Framework Plan and design principles."

Planning guidance for potential developers

Posted - Sep 13, 2013

The City Council Planning Department has produced a draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for the Canalside site. It explains the City’s vision for the site and aims to assist developers in the submission of high quality proposals “befitting of the site’s character and heritage.” The draft SPD points out that this is possibly one of the most complicated sites in Oxford due to the challenge of balancing community uses with high-value residential development. The hope now is that potential purchasers will be in no doubt what is expected. This should also minimise the likelihood of developers over-paying for the site and subsequently pleading that the City’s planning requirements render the site unviable. For this purpose, the brief makes some useful clarifications. One is to reiterate that the site should have 50% affordable housing. It also makes clear that the “improved crossing” of the canal stipulated in the City’s existing Sites and Housing Policy does in fact mean a new bridge. Developers must take this and many other factors into account when assessing the value of the site. The SPD emphasized the necessity for a boatyard on the site, points out that in future the nearest boatyard with a full level of facilities and services is likely to be 14 miles away. It summarizes the essential boatyard facilities that would be needed in Jericho. These include: a wet/dry dock with hard standing space; a mechanism for lifting boats out of the water; indoor DIY workshop space and store room; a chandlery and small office; and service docks along with toilet facilities. For the Community Centre, the SPD points out that the JCA already has outline planning permission on part of the site. The new centre will need a multi-use community hall, café and kitchen, pre-school facility with external area, changing and shower rooms, multi-functional small studio hall, meeting/education rooms, studios, offices and lifts to allow full DDA access. The JCA assessed a need for about 1,600 square metres gross external area. From the JWT’s perspective, the SPD is a very useful document. The JWT believes that its own proposals already comply with the City’s vision. Indeed we should be able to deliver a development that exceeds the City’s expectations. In future, all bidders for the site should now be armed with similar information and will need to draw up their plans accordingly. The SPD and associated documents can be downloaded from our documents section: [url=][/url] The SPD is now open for public consultation until 25 Oct 2013 at 23:59. Anyone interested can sent comments by email to It is also possible to submit comments online at: [url=][/url]