Oxford seeks to increase affordable housing and regenerate Blackbird Leys

Blackbird Leys

The quest to create space for more affordable housing in the city of Oxford is set to be given a double boost thanks to a proposed deal between the county council and city council.

Councillors at both authorities are being asked to approve the sale to the city council of two blocks of land owned by the county council. The county council’s cabinet will discuss the issue on August 18 and Oxford City councillors will be presented with the proposal in September

There’s also good news for Blackbird Leys with a third area of land also set to be sold by the county council to the city council for incorporation in to a regeneration scheme.

The three areas of land in question are part of the former Northfield hostel, the former depot site at Lanham Way and the ex-Blackbird Leys swimming pool.

Councillor David Bartholomew, Cabinet Member for Finance at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “We are very much aware of the city council’s quest to find space for affordable housing and we were very receptive when approached about the land that we own but which is now surplus to the county council’s requirements.

“Extensive negotiations were entered into with the City which have now resulted in mutually beneficial agreement between both Councils subject to legal agreements and approval by councillors.

“Should the deal be approved we wish the city council well in its future tenure of the land in question and we support its aspirations for how they should be developed with affordable housing and regeneration for Blackbird Leys in mind.”

Cllr Alex Hollingsworth, Oxford City Council’s cabinet member for planning and housing delivery, said: “The city council is actively looking at opportunities to acquire land to bring forward more affordable housing in and around the city. Our cabinet will be considering this land acquisition opportunity next month.”