DETAILED plans for the Jericho boatyard redevelopment are to be submitted in the next few days, the architect has said.

It follows a public consultation in February after proposals for a “piazza” square were revealed.

The square would sit in front of St Barnabas Church, with a new community building overlooking it and facilities such as a cafe, a hall and a pre-school also included.

It is the result of talks between the residents’ group Jericho Wharf Trust and developer Strategic Iconic Assets Heritage Acquisition Fund (SIAHAF).

Trust spokesman Peter Stalker said he had been pleased so far with co-operation from the developers.

And the trust has been showcasing a model of the proposals at a launch event for the Oxford Canal Heritage Project.

Mr Stalker said: “We were showing the outcome of our own discussions with SIAHAF. They have been working with us to find out what was wanted in the boatyard.

“We did not get everything we wanted, but we are in a much better position than we have been.

“I think many are hopeful it could go ahead, though we have yet to see the final proposals and will reserve judgment until then.”

Mr Stalker unveiled the plans at the Oxford Canal Heritage Project event on Saturday.

Part of a push to get more visitors using the 222-year-old waterway, it has been backed by £65,000 of Heritage Lottery money.

Examples of audio and written heritage trail guides were available at the event, which took place in the Old Fire Station, George Street.


PICTURESQUE: Camille Pease, 14, left, and Laura Sayers, 19, holding a piece of art produced by the Monday Art Group and displayed at the Oxford Canal Heritage Project launch event at the Old Fire Station

It also included sold-out performances from choir group the Jericho Singers to raise money to fund them.

Organiser Stephanie Pirrie said it had been a success, adding: “There were plenty of talks and presentations and we also had children from local schools who came along.”

Maria Parsons, who is also part of the heritage project, said: “We hope people will keep learning about our rich canal history.”

Joanna Sutherland, associate director of Haworth Tompkins, which created the boatyard designs, said: “We are just pulling together a few loose ends, but everything is mostly ready to go.

“There have been some significant changes, in relation to materials being used and lowering the heights of some buildings.

“Other issues we have addressed are flood risk assessments. We have worked closely with city council planners on this.

“It also does respond to comments made by residents in the public consultation.”



THE story so far:
1992 – Orchard Cruisers, a working boatyard, ceases operations on the site which is owned by British Waterways.
1997 – An informal boatyard grows around the site.
2000 – The Jericho Community Association puts in a bid with local builder Leadbitter but British Waterways opts for Bellway Homes.
2004 – Oxford City Council rejects a planning application from Bellway.
2005 – A planning appeal by Bellway is rejected by a Government planning inspector.
2006 – British Waterways forcibly evicts boaters occupying the site.
2007 – Spring Residential buys the site from British Waterways for £4m.
2007 – The city council rejects Spring’s planning application because of the lack of provision for a new boatyard and the appearance of the buildings.

 2008 – A Government planning inspector rejects Spring’s appeal.
2009 – Spring goes into administration.
2013 – Negotiations between boatyard administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Jericho Wharf Trust over the sale of the site begin
2013 – Rival bidder and developer SIAHAF is revealed to also be in talks.
February 2014 – SIAHAF reveals its “piazza” themed plans for the boatyard and public consultations take