Canalside at Oxford North

What Wolvercote residents need to know before it’s too late.
See what the Neighbourhood Forum has to say about Canalside. Our detailed comments on the recent Planning Application (22/00675/RES) are here (pdf).

In Summary:
The Traffic Plan – This is completely inadequate. The parking provision on the development is an average of 0.6 parking spaces per dwelling. People will certainly want more. The consequence will be overspill parking on already crowded village streets, to the annoyance of current residents.
Air Pollution – The developer’s consultants admit that their comments are based on 2019 figures, that current data is insufficient, and that any air pollution is unsafe. They have not taken into account all the approved and proposed development elsewhere adding to traffic on the A40 and A44. Their proposal that air quality will be acceptable is wholly unconvincing.
Noise Pollution – The apartment blocks, including the affordable housing, are built along the A40 to shield the expensive houses from the road noise we know so well. Occupants will be shut in with double glazed windows and forced ventilation – and in summer, the apartments will be too hot according to the developer’s own consultants. Opening the windows to keep cool will let in polluted air and unacceptable noise. Outside space for apartment residents will be equally subject to noise and air pollution.
Biodiversity – The compensation proposed for the loss of green fields and all the ripped-up hedges is too distantly located, and probably not adequate.
Apartment Design – Some of the apartments are not well designed. A local architect remarked: ‘I would not want to live there’!
Drainage and Flood Risk – Concerns about this are shared with the County Council as Lead Local Flood Authority, whose officer currently objects to the application.
There are other worries too.

Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy Projects – Delay explained.

Our local councillors put forward 4 projects, proposed by residents, for funding from the over £250k Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) accumulated in the Wolvercote Neighbourhood area in the period before our plan was made.

These were:

  1. White Hart Pub & market garden seating
  2. Cutteslow Park Woodland Trail
  3. Five Mile Drive notice board
  4. John Rowland portrait and clock

They were not accepted by Council Officers. Council policy is that projects from areas without a made plan have to be included in the annual City budget. The council, however, had failed to divulge to local residents and councillors in neighbourhoods without a made plan how they might influence decisions on the local portion of CIL. There is currently no process by which councillors can apply to have projects in the annual budget.

It is also Council policy that this pot of CIL funding can be used anywhere in the city, no matter where it is raised.  Obviously, we think that the money should be used to mitigate the effects of development in the actual area where it takes place. The City Council thinks ‘the area’ is the whole city.

Andrew Gant, Liz Wade, and I had a meeting on Thursday 3 March to discuss this with the Chief Executive of the City Council. A note of the paper we presented can be found here. We will keep you up to date.

We will now fund the 4 approved projects from the smaller pot of CIL money that became available after our Neighbourhood Plan was made.

Christopher Hardman

Chair Wolvercote Neighbourhood Forum 

CIL projects: 1st round

The Wolvercote Neighbourhood Forum Steering Committee met on 22 October 2021, and made the following recommendations for Community Projects to be allocated CIL funding. These recommendations will now be taken to the City Council by the local City Councillors. For more details, see the WNF website.

Defribrillator for Five Mile Drive / Lakeside area: Not recommended for funding.
A34 sound survey: Not recommended for funding.
John Rowland portrait and clock: Recommended for funding.
Five Mile Drive notice board: Recommended for funding.
Harbord Road traffic survey: Not recommended for funding.
Blandford Avenue & Sunderland Avenue area traffic calming: Not recommended for funding at this stage.
Cutteslow Park Woodland Trail: Recommended for funding.
White Hart Pub & market garden): Recommended for funding.
Davenant Road – traffic calming Phase 2: Not recommended for funding at this stage.
Tree planting on Nixey’s Field): Recommended for funding.
Lower Wolvercote playground improvement: Not recommended for funding at this stage.
Godstow Road canal steps improvement: Application withdrawn.

Canalside, Oxford North – Public Consultation

From a communication from the Oxford North developers: 

“Hill is preparing a Reserved Matters Application (RMA) for Canalside, part of Oxford North. Canalside forms the area to the south of the A40 and will deliver the first phase of new homes, public park, streets, and landscaping.
As part of Oxford North’s continued community engagement, we invite you to join a public consultation event between 9am and 1pm on Saturday 27th November 2021 at Jurys Inn, Godstow Rd, Oxford.
Here you can view our proposals and discuss the timescales for our application.
Most importantly, we are seeking your views on the application and the project team will
be on hand to answer any questions you may have.”
“If you do plan to attend we are implementing a booking system to maintain social distancing and to reduce the risk of COVID spreading.
Please email: or phone: 0800 032 6760 to reserve an hour time slot.
9:00-10:00 10:00-11:00 11:00-12:00 12:00-1:00″

For more details see the flyer about the meeting.

CIL-funded Community Projects – comments invited.

Applications for eleven projects in the WNF area were received in the first round (closing date 7th October). 
Comments from the community are encouraged to help the steering committee make decisions on funding. 
The deadline for comments to be received has been extended to 21st October 2021.
See for more details.

The Wolvercote Neighbourhood Plan is now ‘MADE’

…That was the term used when the plan was officially accepted by the full City Council on 23rd June 2012, following the referendum landslide. It means that our Plan, like the Local Plan, now has to be considered in deciding planning applications. It also means that the community is entitled to a larger share of the money from local developments. If you want to see how it happened on Wednesday 23 June look at the City Council’s YouTube channel.
Christopher Hardman , Steering Committee Chair from 05:05

Urgent: Oxford North

It is urgent because the closing date for comments on the current planning application is 26 May. See the application on the City Council website ref: 21/ 01053/Res…/…

Work on Oxford North Phase One will start soon and construction will affect local residents. Now is the time to tell planners what you think about the detailed proposals and also what might be done to minimise damage to nature, pollution, congestion, and disturbance from noise. Everyone will be affected by proposals for soil movement and lorry movement on the A40, A44, and at the Wolvercote roundabout.

If you live in Goose Green Close, Rawson Close , Mere Road, Millway Close, the tops of Woodstock Road and Godstow Road, Linkside or Lakeside, you will want to look carefully at the proposals for the times and days on which work will be done and when deliveries to the site are proposed.

WNF Referendum – Yes!

The result of the May 6th Referendum on the Wolvercote Neighbourhood Plan was as follows:
Votes. YES.   1991
Votes.  NO.      136
Spoilt votes.      88

This means that 93.6 % of the votes cast were in support of the Plan. 

Thank you to all our supporters. We will now need to make sure that the policies in the plan are implemented and we would welcome help to do this.  We are also keen to know more about the aspirations of local residents.

Christopher Hardman