Blackbird Leys residents and businesses will get a chance to help shape plans for the redevelopment of their district centre when a developer is appointed and starts work in the autumn.
In June this year, the City Council shortlisted three potential development partners with impressive records of delivering development plans in partnership with local authorities and local communities.
Together with its property consultants CBRE, who were appointed in 2017 to lead the search for a development partner, the council is currently reviewing tenders submitted by the shortlisted candidates.
The local community has been kept updated on the Blackbird Leys regeneration scheme and the Council is inviting locals who want to get involved to contact its project team by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor Linda Smith, Deputy Leader and Board Member for Leisure and Housing, said: “Last month we shortlisted three potential development partners and invited them to submit tenders to work with us and the local community. All three have great experience of working with local authorities, residents and communities to bring forward development plans. Together with our advisers, we are currently reviewing these three tenders. A recommendation on the choice of development partner will be taken to the City Executive Board in September 2018.
“This autumn, the selected development partner will start the process of engaging the community to ensure there is lots of input from local people into the design ideas.
We want to establish community and resident groups who will work with us and the development partner to inform this project. In the first instance, the community and resident groups can help us determine the best ways to speak with the local community and make sure everyone is given a chance to be heard.”
Last year, the Council announced that it expects to deliver around 300 new homes as part of the regeneration of Blackbird Leys district centre, a significant proportion of which will be affordable.
The Council and the chosen developer will explore options to maximise housing delivery at the district centre in line with the new Local Plan, which proposes higher density schemes within the city. In the first instance, the development partner will work with the Council and local community to bring forward proposals for the council-owned sites at the district centre and at Knights Road.
Many of the buildings in the central area of Blackbird Leys, which were developed in the 1950s and '60s, are now suffering from significant deterioration. Detailed plans will be developed to improve the central area shopping parade and public space on Blackbird Leys Road, and also deliver new community facilities.