We need our bridge back

A bridge into the square is critical -- as visualized here in the previous application

Revised plans for Jericho Wharf exclude vital crossing

Posted - Mar 28, 2021

Cornerstone Land has revised its planning application for the Jericho Wharf site. This is for two main reasons. The first is to allow better boat access from the canal into the boatyard. But the second and larger factor is the bridge. The Canal and River Trust (CRT) has objected to the bridge on the basis of navigational safety, and the Environment Agency on the grounds of flood risk. Until these objections from statutory bodies are addressed the scheme will not be granted planning permission. 

Cornerstone Land says it is committed to ensuring that all residents have a lively public space, and that the JWT is able to attract customers into the community centre and cafe. As such, the developer has undertaken to work with the JWT to exhaust all canal crossing options. Until a final resolution is found, Cornerstone Land has removed the bridge from its application.

Jericho Wharf Chair, Phyllis Starkey, says. “We believe that a bridge is an essential part of the scheme, and that these concerns can be resolved. We are working with the CRT to find a solution, which will also support the CRT strategy to rejuvenate the canal in Oxford.”

“This is the final major site for development in Jericho and the only urban waterways space for the foreseeable future. Jericho Wharf can become a vital waterways hub – a wonderful asset not just for Jericho but for the city of Oxford. So it is vital that we get it right. Fortunately, we are working with a committed, locally based developer who can take a fresh approach and help us bring this amazing project to fruition.”

The revised plans are now open for public consultation. We believe residents will want to express their alarm at the loss of the bridge. But they will also be concerned about the proposed piazza – which is still hemmed in by buildings, restricting the space for public events and cutting off views of the Grade 1-listed St Barnabas Church. 

Phyllis Starkey says: “We understand the developer’s need to earn sufficient revenue from its sale of housing. But would encourage the developer and the City Council to strike the right balance between the private and public domains.” 

The current public consultation officially runs until April 9. To make a comment, you can go to the City Council’s planning website and enter the search term 20/01276/FUL.

You may also be able to get there directly using this link.

Phyllis Starkey, being interviewed for BBC Television news on the latest developments