A new round of public consultation on proposed changes to Blackbird Leys district centre is now underway.

This is the latest stage in a £100m plan by Oxford City Council and development partners Catalyst Housing to redevelop the estate by building 281 new homes – including 167 homes for social rent. The plan also includes a new community centre and shops.

Catalyst is looking for feedback on proposed changes to the layout of the district centre after the last round of consultation in October and December.

The new proposal features changes to Blackbird Leys Road that will protect the road and maintain the bus route, and a new two way cycle lane linking into existing cycle routes. It includes new parking spaces for car clubs and short stay shopping, as well as extra electric charging points for cars and bikes.

The consultation also features an update on proposals for the community centre and the council’s recent engagement with user groups of the current centre.

Residents will also be asked for their views on landscaping between Windrush Tower and the new road layout, and their aspirations for the new community centre.

The two week consultation period ends on Friday 26 March.

The team is planning further consultation in April, to give a detailed overview of the developed designs for Knights Road and the district centre and show how they have responded to input from the community. This will be an opportunity for people to give their thoughts on the proposals before the planning application is submitted.

Community engagement will not end with the submission: The council is also appointing a team to work with local residents on plans for the new community centre, with a detailed design expected in July.

How to take part

Consultation questionnaire packs are being delivered to Blackbird Leys residents, with flyers advertising the consultation also going to addresses in the OX4 postcode.

People can respond to the consultation by post or online. Additional paper copies are available by calling 0300 456 2099.

The development project team is also holding a series of one-to-one Zoom or phone meetings for people to ask questions and give their feedback. To book a meeting, call 01865 529204 or send an email. Slots are available on:

  • Monday 22 March between 4pm and 7pm
  • Tuesday 23 March between 9am and 1pm
  • Wednesday 24 March between 1pm and 3pm

Councillor Alex Hollingsworth, cabinet member for planning and housing delivery, said: “Oxford needs homes and Catalyst’s plan for Blackbird Leys envisages 281 new homes, as well as a new community centre and shops.

“In this round of consultation we want to know what people think about proposals to redesign public spaces in Blackbird Leys district centre. Over the coming months there will also be opportunities for people to have their say on plans for Knights Road, the architecture of the redevelopment and a new community centre.

“We’re only just starting to come out of lockdown so we’re making it as easy as possible for people to take part in consultation by post, online and in virtual meetings with the development team. We want to ensure our plans meet the needs of the Blackbird Leys community, so please tell us what you think.”

Joe Marshall, managing director, new homes (counties) at Catalyst, said: “Together with Oxford City Council, we have developed some excellent proposals for Blackbird Leys so far, but we need to hear from local residents to make sure they meet the needs of the community.

“Our focus will always be on delivering high quality affordable homes in Blackbird Leys, as well as better community spaces and facilities. 

We are really looking to hearing from people in order to fine tune our plans with a view to submitting a planning application later this year.”