Why this plan will not do

The Jericho Wharf development has now been reduced so severely from the original community vision that it is unacceptable. This saga has gone on far too long, but we must not lose at the final step. The City Council should refuse the current application and enable Jericho and Oxford to achieve the development that this historic site deserves – and which is now well within reach..

Posted - Feb 02, 2022

The City Council will soon consider the planning application for the Jericho canalside development. Although there will only be one application on the agenda, the members of the planning committee will still have a choice of two wharfs. 

  • Wharf 1 – The community vision consistently presented by the Jericho Wharf Trust (JWT), and endorsed by the City’s own Planning Policy documents 
  • Wharf 2 – The diminished proposal from the developer, Cornerstone Land, whose most recent manoeuvre has been to remove all affordable housing.

The JWT remains determined to release the full potential of Jericho’s canalside heritage – with a flourishing boatyard, a sustainably sized community centre, and a vista of the historic St Barnabas Church – all around a vibrant piazza. Jericho Wharf will offer both commercial and affordable housing, connected via an attractive bridge to neighbouring communities across the canal and onwards to the new Oxford railway station. We want to work with the developer to achieve this. 

This will mean rejecting the current application. We have already made our objections clear –  the lack of affordable housing, the piazza now crowded in by commercial housing, a flood-prone boatyard design, and the missing bridge across the canal. We also reject the developer’s latest assertion that we could have our affordable housing in exchange for a minimal and financially unviable community centre. 

This refusal should be seen not as a reversal but as the next step to a Jericho Wharf of which we can all be proud. We are emerging from a pandemic that has highlighted the importance of good physical and mental health, which the new Jericho Wharf facilities can promote. But the pandemic has also underlined the value of community solidarity – which Jericho residents have consistently demonstrated in their determination to make this historic site work for everyone. 

See also: Vision for Jericho Wharf development in jeopardy