Wharf Trust aims to establish common ground with site administrators

Discussions with PWC on how the site could best be developed

Posted - Mar 01, 2013

On January 29, 2013, representatives of the Jericho Wharf Trust met with PWC, the administrators of the canalside site. This meeting largely took the form of a presentation by architects commissioned by the administrators. They gave a first indication of how they thought the site might be developed in order to maximize its monetary value. The JWT, of course, takes a broader view. While bearing in mind commercial constraints, our aim is to realize the full social and environmental potential of the site – to deliver a striking new development of which Oxford will be proud. JWT Chair Phyllis Starkey says: “This is the final piece of undeveloped canalside land in the city. We in Jericho are privileged to live in one of Oxford’s most historic residential areas, an area strongly linked with the boating community. This gives us the responsibility to shape its development carefully – to meet the needs not just of today’s Oxford citizens but also of future generations.” For the canalside site this means ensuring the development meets urgent community requirements, in particular for a thriving boatyard and for a new community centre, alongside a new public square and bridge, and affordable housing. All of this will create a “new heart” for this distinctive corner of Oxford. We are fortunate that this site has already been the subject of two planning appeals, in 2005 and 2008, whose outcomes are also reflected in the City’s recently adopted Sites and Housing Policies. These laid down clear planning ground rules on how the site has to be developed. And in recent years, Jericho has become a conservation area and St Barnabas Church has become a Grade I listed building; adding further controls on the site. Our aim in our talks with the administrators is to make sure that when marketing this historic site they take all these issues fully into account. We believe the best approach is to establish a common understanding of this site – both the constraints and the opportunities. We are therefore continuing the discussions in this spirit and over the coming months will report on progress.