Estate redevelopment project gets £21m funding approval

The redevelopment of the Blackbird Leys housing estate has reached an important milestone, after Oxford City Council approved a £21m budget for the project.

The scheme is being delivered by Oxford City Council and Catalyst, who are consulting with local community and residents of Blackbird Leys to finalise the proposed designs. Further consultation is due to take place later this year and residents will be able to offer feedback on the new development. The final designs will be submitted for planning approval to Oxford City Council in spring 2021.

The latest plans include 287 homes built across two sites in Blackbird Leys, as well as new shops, offices and a village green. Currently, the proposed scheme’s new homes will comprise around 53 per cent for social rent and 22 per cent for shared ownership. The remaining homes will be sold at market value, providing essential funds to ensure the project’s viability.

Philip Jenkins, Group Development Director at Catalyst said: “This funding is vital for this project, which will see the delivery of much needed new affordable housing in Oxford as well as new, high-quality public spaces in the heart of Blackbird Leys. Schemes like this are even more important following the COVID-19 epidemic, and we are determined more than ever to build good quality, new affordable homes to help meet the city’s housing need.”

Councillor Mike Rowley, Cabinet Member for Affordable Housing, said: “Oxford’s housing need is urgent and I’m delighted we can give the go-ahead to this high-quality development, working with a social landlord that already has a stake in the Blackbird Leys community. Despite coronavirus, Oxford City Council continues to do everything we can to meet local people’s needs.”