Work starts on Blackbird Leys redevelopment project

The project will provide 294 new homes across two different sites, planned in two stages.

The development will improve the district centre with new public facilities including shops, a purpose-built community centre, public open spaces as well as new cycling infrastructure.

Oxford Mail: There will be new community facilitiesThere will be new community facilities (Image: Ed Nix)

Councillor Linda Smith, cabinet member for housing, Oxford City Council, said: “I am delighted that work is now underway on the new district centre for Blackbird Leys.

“This is a major milestone in the long history of this project.

“We could not have reached this point without the support and involvement of local residents, and know many in the local community are as excited as I am about this development which will breathe new life into the centre of Blackbird Leys.”

Oxford Mail: The project will provide 294 new homesThe project will provide 294 new homes (Image: Ed Nix)

The redevelopment initiative is led by housing association Peabody and development partner Oxford City Council.

Preparation work for the scheme began in January under the leadership of The Hill Group, the project’s contractor.

The Glow Tree from the old community centre has been moved to storage and is due for reinstatement post redevelopment completion.

The rejuvenated district centre will have 210 homes, of which 174 houses, 83 per cent, have been allocated for social or affordable rents, while 36 homes, 17 per cent, are being planned for shared ownership.

Knights Road will offer a further 84 shared ownership residences.

A collaboration spanning over four years between Peabody, the council and local communities has sought to understand public views on the plan.

The partners have implemented large-scale community engagement schemes with numerous monthly events, collecting more than 1,500 pieces of community feedback for the broader regeneration project which received its planning consent in August 2023.

To communicate the community’s needs to the design team, a Community Review Panel has been established.

The panel is composed of residents from the Leys community.

Soon, Peabody and Oxford City Council plan to release further information about how locals can secure employment opportunities on the Blackbird Leys project, learn construction skills, and participate in the artwork on the construction hoarding.

Simon Barry, managing director, development at Peabody, said: “Oxford is a world-class city, but it’s also one of the most expensive places to live outside London, and this makes the delivery of affordable homes challenging.

“Together with Oxford City Council, we’ve been working closely with the community since 2019.

“It’s great to see the hard work paying off and the plans coming together.”

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