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Residents want facilities for young and old on car park
HOMES for the elderly and youth facilities are among ideas put forward by residents for the planned redevelopment of a Summertown car park.
More than 120 people came to a consultation event this month to discuss the potential development of the Diamond Place car park and Ewert House offices.
Oxford City Council says the land could be developed with a mix of shops, student accommodation and businesses.
Council officers were invited by the Summertown and St Margaret’s neighbourhood forum to discuss options with residents at an event on September 4 at the North Oxford Association, in Diamond Place.
Secretary Shirley McCready said the high turnout showed people cared what happened to the four-acre site.
She said the development offered the chance to bring more facilities to the area, adding: “You can have quite a lot on the site.”
But she said many people had concerns, adding: “A lot of people said we don’t need more shops. The overwhelming feeling of residents is we don’t want to lose our parking. We also need much better cycle access and safe pedestrian access.
“This is the beginning of probably quite a lengthy series of consultations.”
The findings of the consultation event will be announced at the neighbourhood forum’s annual general meeting at the North Oxford Association at 7.30pm on Thursday, October 10.
Jean Fooks, city council member for Summertown, said suggestions for the site had included art space, a health centre and homes for the elderly.
She said: “Residents certainly did not want much more retail and they are rather against any more supermarkets.”
The councillor said it was great to see so many people turn up to the consultation event, adding: “It was tremendous that so many people were prepared to take the time out to discuss what they wanted to see with this very important site.
“They value Summertown and want to see it develop in a sustainable way. We very much look forward to see what Oxford City Council comes up with and there will be much more consultation to come.”
Council spokeswoman Louisa Dean said: “We will use the results of our consultations as well as the outcomes of other meetings we need to have with other stakeholders to develop a series of options for development of the site.”
She said another consultation would be held next year, perhaps in March, before a development brief was produced.
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