Take part in online consultation over plans to redevelop Blackbird Leys

Published: Wednesday, 11th November 2020

Next week, Oxford residents will be able to take part in consultation webinars over a £100m masterplan to redevelop Blackbird Leys by building 281 new homes – including 167 new homes for social rent.

The plan has been created by Catalyst Housing, Oxford City Council’s development partner for the project, and also includes a new community centre and shops, together with improvements to green and public spaces. The new masterplan builds on plans that were approved by cabinet in early March and follows consultation with local residents before lockdown.

New homes

Oxford City Council and Catalyst now aim to build 210 homes on two sites in the district centre. Thirteen of these will replace flats currently above the ‘top shops’, meaning that 197 will be new homes.

A second site between Knights Road and the Kassam Stadium will see the construction of 84 new houses.

The new homes will include 167 homes for social rent (59.4%), with another 40 (14.2%) expected to be shared ownership homes (14.2%) and just 74 for market sale (26.3%).

Social rent is calculated with reference to the size and value of a home and average income for the region. In Oxford, social rent is typically around 40% of equivalent private rents. This goes significantly beyond the council’s requirement for 40% of homes in development sites of more than 10 homes to be for social rent and 10% to be for other affordable tenures like shared ownership.

Changes to the masterplan

Proposed changes to the district centre include a new road layout, a larger, more accessible public space and changes to the size and location of buildings. On the Knights Road site the masterplan proposals include enhancing the nature corridor along Northfield Brook by better planting and pathways and changes to the orientation and type of building.

Catalyst is looking for people to comment on proposals about:

  • the new road layout
  • new public spaces
  • how the buildings should look
  • what the homes should include
  • design of the landscape

Take part

Catalyst is holding a series of webinars on 17, 19 and 20 November – two on plans for the district centre and two for Knights Road. They are an opportunity for people to give their comments to the development team in real time and ask any questions they have.

People who want to take part need to register via the Blackbird Leys website at least 24 hours in advance of these sessions:

  • Tuesday 17 November, 11am (district centre)
  • Tuesday 17 November, 6pm (Knights Road)
  • Thursday 19 November, 6pm (district centre)
  • Friday 20 November, 11am (Knights Road)

The webinars mark the culmination of the latest round of public consultation on the development masterplan. Catalyst delivered consultation questionnaire packs to Blackbird Leys residents living next to the proposed developments in October. The consultation was also advertised in Leys News and by delivering flyers to addresses in the OX4 postcode.

People taking part in the webinars will have the chance to win one of 10 £50 Love2Shop vouchers.

Next steps

There will be another round of public consultation on proposals for retail spaces and the community centre early in 2021.

Catalyst expects to submit a planning application next spring and there will be further public consultation as part of the planning process.

Comment

“Oxford needs homes and Catalyst’s masterplan for Blackbird Leys envisages 281 new homes. This includes 167 homes for social rent that will be let at around 40% of market rents, as well improvements to green and public spaces and a new community centre and shops.

“This is not the end of consultation and there will be more opportunities for people to express their views on public spaces and on future plans. If you want to see us building the homes that Oxford needs, please have your say and take part in the webinars next week.”

Councillor Alex Hollingsworth, cabinet member for planning and housing delivery