Bid to bulldoze Oxford Stadium for homes is rejected

Bid to bulldoze Oxford Stadium for homes is rejected

Campaigners outside Oxford Town Hall tonight ahead of the meeting to decide on the stadium’s future. Picture: OX64521 Jon Lewis

CELEBRATION: Ian Sawyer pops the cork on the Champagne outside the Town Hall after the decision, picture by Shane Leach

First published in News
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PLANS to demolish Oxford Stadium to make way for 220 homes have been unanimously rejected. 

More than 200 people turned out to hear the fate of Oxford Stadium at Oxford's Town Hall tonight. And cheers and applause erupted when the plans were turned down by all eight councillors. 

Littlemore resident John Howley, 56, said: "It's fantastic and is the right decision. It's one of the best speedway venues in Great Britain. Happy days."

Save Oxford Stadium campaigner Ian Sawyer said: “I’m delighted at the number of people here supporting us. Oxford needs this facility and it can’t be replaced.”

Galliard Homes wants to build 220 homes on the former greyhound stadium and speedway track in Sandy Lane.

Officers had recommended Oxford City Council’s east area planning committee reject the proposal and it was unanimously rejected with eight votes. 

In a report, planning officer Martin Armstrong said: “The proposal to demolish all the buildings and structures on the site and redevelop the land for housing would result in the complete loss of all the community facilities.”

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Green Party group leader Craig Simmons said: “We desperately need affordable housing in this city – and a site of this size could provide more than 200 homes alongside some recreational space, and other community uses.

“There are some issues with the proportion of affordable housing and the environmental standards in the current application – but the principle of using this site for housing is something we support.”

MP Andrew Smith, backed by Labour councillors, has been campaigning to keep the stadium for greyhound racing.

Deputy chairwoman of the Oxford East Conservative Association Katharine Harborne, expressed her relief at the decision.

She said: "The stadium is a community heritage asset and must be protected.

" I hope Galliard Homes now rethinks its project and comes up with something that is both commercially viable and satisfies the needs of the local community."

 

Comments (7)

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8:23pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Barry DB says...

Reading what the Green Party Leader has said, I think he has single handedly destroyed any votes his party might have got.
Thankfully the stadium is now saved.....for the time being.
However the fight to save the stadium is far from over yet as I dare say it will go to appeal etc and to the Government and also bearing in mind what the Green party say they want for this site.
Reading what the Green Party Leader has said, I think he has single handedly destroyed any votes his party might have got. Thankfully the stadium is now saved.....for the time being. However the fight to save the stadium is far from over yet as I dare say it will go to appeal etc and to the Government and also bearing in mind what the Green party say they want for this site. Barry DB
  • Score: -95

9:33pm Wed 8 Jan 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

Shame we need the houses, so I guess it will remain empty now, become vandelised and end up as a home for druggies?
Shame we need the houses, so I guess it will remain empty now, become vandelised and end up as a home for druggies? yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: -215

9:47pm Wed 8 Jan 14

mdh1664 says...

Great news, houses are required but in the correct areas of the city,and not to feed some greedy developer who wants to stamp all over local people. This is a recreational site and should be kept that way !
What are the Green Party on..................
.......lost the plot.
Great news, houses are required but in the correct areas of the city,and not to feed some greedy developer who wants to stamp all over local people. This is a recreational site and should be kept that way ! What are the Green Party on.................. .......lost the plot. mdh1664
  • Score: -92

10:04pm Wed 8 Jan 14

bishbosh says...

“We desperately need affordable housing in this city – and a site of this size could provide more than 200 homes alongside some recreational space, and other community uses.

“There are some issues with the proportion of affordable housing and the environmental standards in the current application – but the principle of using this site for housing is something we support.”

Once again the greens prove they are unelectable with statements such as this. Of course affordable housing is desirable but it is something of a myth. Developers such as Galliard find it very difficult to provide the levels of affordable housing required by local council's to impact on local housing waiting lists. Many council's sell out this requirement and fail in their duties to provide housing. Landlords providing affordable housing can charge rent levels up to 80% of market rate and charge accordingly for the sale. Hows that affordable?. My understanding is Galliard have quite a debt mountain and unlikely interested in providing meaningful levels of affordable and social housing on this site. Local communities need leisure and assembly places and viable business to provide local jobs. It appears Oxford Council have done the right thing and hopefully they will continue to do so.
“We desperately need affordable housing in this city – and a site of this size could provide more than 200 homes alongside some recreational space, and other community uses. “There are some issues with the proportion of affordable housing and the environmental standards in the current application – but the principle of using this site for housing is something we support.” Once again the greens prove they are unelectable with statements such as this. Of course affordable housing is desirable but it is something of a myth. Developers such as Galliard find it very difficult to provide the levels of affordable housing required by local council's to impact on local housing waiting lists. Many council's sell out this requirement and fail in their duties to provide housing. Landlords providing affordable housing can charge rent levels up to 80% of market rate and charge accordingly for the sale. Hows that affordable?. My understanding is Galliard have quite a debt mountain and unlikely interested in providing meaningful levels of affordable and social housing on this site. Local communities need leisure and assembly places and viable business to provide local jobs. It appears Oxford Council have done the right thing and hopefully they will continue to do so. bishbosh
  • Score: -87

11:42pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Myron Blatz says...

Yet more blatant political hypocrisy from Oxford's ruling Labour Party - unless I read their comments wrongly, Labour was (and presumably still is) happy to see the Stadium site re-developed, if the owners are prepared to guarantee 50% social housing. Whether this can still translate into keeping the Greyhound/Speedway element, together with housing, is to be seen. What is also of interest, is that the very same Labour-dominated and controlled Oxford City Council has agreed to the Kassam car park area being re-developed into 250 homes - seemingly without any guarantee that the much-needed car parking for the Kassam will be provided, and without any published impact upon this part of Oxford's road infrastructure, services, schools and public transport provision.
Yet more blatant political hypocrisy from Oxford's ruling Labour Party - unless I read their comments wrongly, Labour was (and presumably still is) happy to see the Stadium site re-developed, if the owners are prepared to guarantee 50% social housing. Whether this can still translate into keeping the Greyhound/Speedway element, together with housing, is to be seen. What is also of interest, is that the very same Labour-dominated and controlled Oxford City Council has agreed to the Kassam car park area being re-developed into 250 homes - seemingly without any guarantee that the much-needed car parking for the Kassam will be provided, and without any published impact upon this part of Oxford's road infrastructure, services, schools and public transport provision. Myron Blatz
  • Score: -116

10:17am Fri 10 Jan 14

mytaxes says...

Good to hear that housing is no longer such a priority with the City councillors, when they get protests from other groups about house building will they listen to them also or do they just listen to a Labour MP and Blackbird Leys residents?j
Good to hear that housing is no longer such a priority with the City councillors, when they get protests from other groups about house building will they listen to them also or do they just listen to a Labour MP and Blackbird Leys residents?j mytaxes
  • Score: -98

9:28am Fri 17 Jan 14

dianetaylor says...

This morning I have hearf the builders are re appealing. Well I am a parent who attends a really caring and great dance group on this site. I for one will keep on fighting against this as the amount of kids who use this site it is important for there socialising and futures. How many signatures do you want to prove that this site is well used and important to kids in the area?
This morning I have hearf the builders are re appealing. Well I am a parent who attends a really caring and great dance group on this site. I for one will keep on fighting against this as the amount of kids who use this site it is important for there socialising and futures. How many signatures do you want to prove that this site is well used and important to kids in the area? dianetaylor
  • Score: 2

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