Dawson Place for community use only

Bob Price confirms City Council policy

Posted - Jul 26, 2013

Leader of Oxford City Council, Bob Price, has reiterated the Council’s intention to make the Dawson Place garages site available as part of the canalside development. However, this land will only be provided as a contribution to community facilities. Developers of the canalside site will thus not be free to use it as they wish. Councillor Price made this clear in a recent a letter to PricewaterhouseCoopers, who are the administrators of the site. He wrote: “In 2005 the Oxford City Council indicated their willingness to make available its land at Dawson Place to facilitate provision of community facilities within the site known as Canalside Land, Jericho. Eight years later the site remains derelict. Furthermore there is mounting concern that a developer may again come forward with unacceptable proposals for the site, leading to more delay and further waste of precious resources. “Please therefore be aware - and ensure that all potential purchasers of the Spring Residential portion of the site are aware - that the City Council will only make available the Dawson Place land, on any terms, to a developer who meets - in the Council's opinion - the needs of the City and the local community. I hope that this makes the Council's position quite clear. We are currently consulting on an SPD [supplementary planning document] for the site that will set out our planning approach in detail…” The SPD to which he refers will offer a clear planning advice on how the site can be used – covering such issues as the size and locations of buildings, how the canal frontage should be used and what characteristics of the area should be reflected in the design. On July 10, the SPD was the subject of a well-attended public consultation at the Jericho Community Centre. This drew 58 comments, indicating the strength of local concern. The Jericho Wharf Trust is currently negotiating with PricewaterhouseCoopers to purchase the site. However, the Trust also wants to ensure that any other potential purchasers are fully aware of both the potential of this site and the planning restrictions on it. The Trust has therefore asked the administrators to ensure that any potential bidder for the site knows about the SPD initiative and the Council statement on Dawson Place land. With the permission of the City Council, we have added Councillor Price’s letter to this website’s documents. You can download it as a pdf file by clicking HERE.