Blackbird Leys District Centre and Knights Road

About the project

Oxford City Council and Catalyst are working in partnership to bring new shops and community facilities, and at least 250 homes to the heart of Blackbird Leys.

The project will focus on the District Centre (including the ‘top shops’) and land between Knights Road and the Kassam Stadium.

Across both sites, we will deliver at least 250 homes, as well as improved community facilities, landscaped green and open space and other community benefits.

The development will include homes for social rent and shared ownership. The City Council’s policy is for 40% of housing development to be for social rent and 10% shared ownership.

A key aim will be to address the acute need for new homes in Oxford, including social rent.

How you can get involved

Throughout the first half of 2019, we worked with the community in Blackbird Leys to develop the basic plan for the development.

This included:

  • Sending surveys to over 5,000 local households on how they’d like to be consulted and informed

  • Holding two kick-off consultation events. You can see the information from the events via the links below:
  • Holding a Community Planning Weekend at The Barn in May
  • Holding pop-ups with community groups and across the area to get more people’s views
  • Showing the feedback so far and the evolving proposals to the community at a Report Back Evening in June. You can see the boards and broadsheet from the event below:
  • Showing the evolving designs and getting further input at the Leys Fun Day in June

We're aiming to consult the community further on the detailed designs over the coming months. The aim is to submit a planning application in 2020.

To find out more, share your ideas or invite us to speak to your community group, please email

Background to the project

The district centre in Blackbird Leys was developed in the 1950s and 1960s. Oxford City Council has invested millions of pounds into Blackbird Leys over recent years, including building the £9m Leys Pools and Leisure Centre, refurbishing Evenlode and Windrush towers, and improving parking provision across the estate.

Through consultation in 2013, the community identified the Blackbird Leys Road shops and the public space in front of these shops to be in need of improvement. The existing community centre is also outdated and much better facilities could be provided.

The site at Knight’s Road has previously been allocated as an area for housing in the Sites and Housing Plan 2013.

Catalyst Housing Ltd is a housing association based in the South East. In the 1990s Catalyst worked with Oxford City Council to develop more than 600 homes in Blackbird Leys, which the association continues to manage today. It owns and manages over 1000 homes across Oxford, with 400 more currently being delivered. Catalyst is also part of the Leys Community Development Initiative, through which it helps to deliver significant community projects including the Clockhouse project for over 50s and the Dovecote project for families.