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Developer criticises Oxford City Council over its housing record
6:30am Friday 17th January 2014 in News
DEVELOPERS have said Oxford City Council’s record on affordable housing is “lamentable”.
That was the view of Cantay Estates Limited during the closing statements of the public inquiry into plans for new homes at the former Lord Nuffield Club in William Morris Close, Cowley.
Oxford City Council threw out the plans in November and the developer Cantay Estates appealed to the inspectorate.
It proposed 43 homes, 25 of which would be affordable, with access from Barracks Lane and two all-weather sports pitches.
Richard Kimblin, for Cantay, described the affordable housing situation as “lamentable”. He said in 2006 there were 3,816 people on the housing register, with 1,240 lettings then available, but now there were 5,067 on the register, but only 767 lettings.
For Oxford City Council, Simon Pickes said: “The city does not in any way seek to hide from the scale of the need for affordable houses in Oxford, the effect of the recession on the completion of affordable houses in the recent past, and the impacts of the lack of supply of affordable housing for those concerned.
“But the proposal represents, nonetheless, a modest gross and very modest net addition to stock city-wide to be weighed against the localised effect of the proposed development on open space provision clearly contrary to the up-to-date development plan.”
A site visit was carried out by the planning inspector Mike Robins and both parties yesterday afternoon.
The three-day hearing at Oxford’s Town Hall ended yesterday and a decision will be made at a later date.
Cantay Estates has applied to build on the land three times in the past 13 months. The other two schemes were also refused.
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