FEEDBACK on the proposed redevelopment of the Jericho boatyard has been overwhelmingly positive, developers have said.
Following a consultation held earlier this month, developer Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF) said that 66 per cent of people surveyed positively to the scheme and only nine per cent disapproved of the project, chief executive Johnny Sandelson said.
A planning application to transform the former Castle Mill Boatyard is expected to be submitted to Oxford City Council “within the next few weeks”.
Mr Sandelson said: “We are pleased with the outcome of the consultation process which shows a big groundswell of support for the regeneration of Jericho Wharf.
“At last, it looks as if Jericho will get the scheme it deserves.”
The site stopped being used as a working boatyard in 1992.
If successful, its redevelopment will include a new community centre, restaurant, café, piazza and housing, changing the face of the site located at the bottom of Cardigan Street.
A new swing bridge across the canal will also be included in the development as will a community boatyard featuring two dry docks, a wet dock and workshops.
While Mr Sandelson said the large majority of people reacted positively to the scheme, the company did say that some concerns were expressed about the style of the housing, with some people saying they didn’t think it reflected the architecture of the rest of Jericho.
The architects Haworth Tompkins are now amending the designs to take on board the comments.
Previous unsuccessful attempts to redevelop the boatyard led the city council to draw up planning guidance which dictates what can be built there.
Jericho Wharf Trust chairman, Phyllis Starkey, said: “These plans offer a real opportunity to develop the site in line with the community’s desires, providing a viable boatyard, community centre, public square and bridge.
“Concerns have been expressed about the level of affordable housing in particular, and constructive public comment will help to ensure we finally develop this important site in the best way to meet the needs of the Jericho, canal and wider Oxford communities.”
City councillor for Jericho Susanna Pressel, above, added: “I am very pleased that the city council came up with the planning guidance for developers. It is really good that has happened because we have had four other completely ridiculous proposals in the past and it means the current proposals are not so unsuitable.
“This is a huge step forward and I would welcome it for that reason but I am sure it can still be improved and we do want to see people put their views forward.”
More than 400 people attended the public consultation. SIAHAF said the 66 per cent figure was based on written and verbal responses.