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Barton estate's in line for a floral spruce-up before new homes are built
WASTED space on Oxford’s Barton estate is to be brightened up and put to good use as part of a new scheme.
The Barton Community Association is surveying the estate for spaces which could be turned into flower beds or even vegetable patches.
The aim of the scheme is to brighten up the estate before the planned Barton West development is completed, bringing 885 new homes on land next to the estate.
Project co-ordinator Rachael Peace, of Stowford Road, is leading the survey which is due to be finished by the end of next month.
She said: “The community association and residents are concerned that Barton is going to look a bit shabby compared to the new development.
“The new development is also encroaching on our green spaces which we have few of anyway.”
So far ideas include planting wild flowers in the amphitheatre at Underhill Circus and turning land behind Hubble Close into a community vegetable garden with raised beds.
Mrs Peace said residents could also help to plant flowers and trees.
She said: “A nicer living environment relaxes people and gives them more civic pride.”
Sue Holden, secretary of the community association, said that once the study was completed the association would look at what it wants to do and apply for grant funding.
She added: “It’s not all about improving the look of the estate, it’s also using spaces for the benefit of the estate.
“If we can grow some decent vegetables and distribute them around the place then it will be fantastic.”
“If there is dead space around let’s bring it alive.”
Mike Rowley, city councillor for Barton and Sandhills, backed the scheme, adding: “It is an excellent initiative.”
The Labour councillor also said the move could prompt a reduction in cases of flytipping and antisocial behaviour.
He said: “There is a psychological advantage in making these spaces look cared for.”