Support for Council canalside plans.

The Council plan lllustrates two site layouts - with the community centre to the south of the square (left), or to the north (right)

Supplementary planning document published

Posted - Dec 17, 2013

On December 11, the City Council adopted the Jericho Canalside Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). This clarifies and confirms the Council’s policies for this important and controversial site. The Council hopes that the SDP will “assist developers in the submission of high quality proposals befitting of the site’s character.” The SPD has been produced after an extended process of public consultation – with over 40 comments from individuals and institutions on an earlier draft. During the consultation, respondents agreed that the site should combine housing, a community centre, a boatyard, and a public square. As for the location of the various elements, they believed that the boatyard should go on the north of the site next to College Cruisers. But opinion was divided on the preferred location for a new bridge, with suggestions split evenly between the southern end of the site and a more central location leading onto the square. Similarly, there was no clear agreement as to the most appropriate type and style of bridge. There was general agreement that the community centre should be larger than the current centre, with large and small and rooms capable of accommodating a wide range of activities. Views on the location were roughly split. Some wanted the new centre at the Dawson Place end of the site, others wanted it south of the square. The Council plan illustrates both options. For housing it was thought there should be around 20 dwellings, with around 50% affordable – and that the maximum height of these and other buildings should be three storeys, though two would be better in some locations – particularly to preserve some important views. There was general agreement that the site should have little or no car parking. Respondents were generally pleased with the proposed position of the square and hoped that it would be planted with flowers and shrubs and be enjoyed by people living and working locally. The SPD will serve as the basis for assessing any planning application. The site is being bought by a private equity fund, the Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund. Their architect is currently in discussions with the Jericho Wharf Trust (JWT) on how to make best use of the site in a way that balances community and commercial interests. JWT Chair Phyllis Starkey says: “We are impressed with the effort that the City Council has put into this planning document, and especially the lengths to which they have gone to accommodate everyone’s views. The JWT believes this site has enormous potential and could serve as a lively community hub, bringing much needed new facilities for Jericho and North Oxford, as well as attracting many more visitors to this distinctive part of the city and its canal heritage.” The complete SPD may be found in the documents section of this website. Other documents related to the SPD may be found on the City Council website.