A ‘VILLAGE green’, shops, cafes and offices for start-up businesses could all become part of Blackbird Leys as designs are drawn up for its redevelopment.

Workshops looking at the future of the estate were held on Friday and Saturday with those tasked with planning the new homes and facilities in the area pledging to listen to all ideas put forward.

Oxford City Council, Catalyst Housing, and JTP architects are all working on the project which will see around 250 homes built by the Kassam Stadium and a complete redevelopment of the ‘district centre’, near the top shops.

Parish councillor Ewa Gluza said she felt a new health centre and school would be needed, given the likely growth in population.

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She added: “If we are building this number of houses, there is going to be 1,000 extra people living here and we need the facilities to cope with that.”

Project leaders have stressed that nothing has been decided yet and are holding the consultation events to allow people to shape the plans from an early stage.

There will be a feedback session on June 18 and the resulting plans will be shown for the first time at the Leys Festival later that month.

Ines Kretzschmar, who lived on the estate for more than 20 years and still works there, said she wanted to see parts of the current design retained, particularly the silver sculpture which sits near the community centre.

Cars are likely to be given far less prominence in the new design with a village green or public square type area lined with shops and cafes preferred to the current through-way in Blackbird Leys Road.

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David Newman, who moved to Merlin Road last October, said he was hoping the developers would take the community’s thoughts on board to improve the area.

A planning application is likely to be submitted for the plans in 2020 while it is thought that the scheme could take anywhere between three and five years to complete.

Charles Campion, JTP's lead architect, said he understood the scepticism among some residents, given plans have been drawn up before and then scrapped.

But he said: “It is looking like this is a serious piece of work which will result in a planning application.

“The majority of people think there is a need for regeneration in this area and there is an acceptance of the importance of building new houses.

“We are doing this at an early stage - it is not people coming in to comment on what we have already designed.

“The community are the experts about what this area is like and hopefully together we can create the best scheme which fits the place.”