Councillors have agreed to move forward with the £100 million redevelopment of the Blackbird Leys estate in Oxford.

Oxford City Council’s cabinet agreed on March 11 to help fund the concept masterplan which will mean around 287 new homes (including new social housing), a new community centre, shops and improved green and public spaces. Development will mean the loss of 12 existing homes.

The concept masterplan, drawn up with development partner Catalyst Housing, is the result of months of community planning days, workshops and pop-up consultation events with Blackbird Leys residents – and further changes could still be made.

The project, on city council-owned land, will see Catalyst:

  • Build around 84 new homes on land between Knights Road and the Kassam Stadium
  • Build around 55 new homes in land south of Evenlode Tower
  • Demolish an existing site, referred to locally as the ‘top shops’ which will involve the loss of 12 homes, to build around 96 new homes in a low-rise block and a small terrace of four
  • Demolish the existing community centre and replace it with a new one and a separate mixed-use building featuring retail on the ground floor and around 48 flats above

The redevelopment will also see changes to Blackbird Leys Road outside the top shops to create a public square. There will also be new public spaces and pocket parks in Knights Road.

Of the 287 total of new homes, 213 will be affordable. Of those, 151 will be for social rent, 62 for shared ownership.

Cllr Mike Rowley, cabinet member for affordable housing, said: “It’s very welcome to see this desperately needed housing get to the next stage, with more than half of the development to be social rented homes, plus additional shared ownership homes.

“We’ll consult extensively with the local community as development progresses to make sure we get the best possible scheme for Blackbird Leys.”

A planning application is expected in early 2021 and if successful, construction of the first phase could begin in 2022.

Image: Google.

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