The vision

OCC with Catalyst Housing will create a new identifiable district centre to meet the current and future needs of the Blackbird Leys community. The centre will have a new inclusive and multifunctional community centre, better public space, new shops and more affordable homes.

The regeneration is to tackle key issues such as health, education and employment inequalities and support wider community inclusion. The work will be carried out in collaboration with local community groups and associations and everyone in the Leys community.

Why do we need this?

The existing shopping and community centre buildings are nearing the end of their design life and will need to be replaced. We have an opportunity to design for the future and by creating high quality new and better community facilities bringing a range of benefits to the Leys and at the same time providing much needed new housing.

What will the new facilities offer?

The Community Centre

The new Community Centre will be the focus for the development. It will be more accessible, more inclusive, more active and better designed. The Council has appointed a dedicated consultant team to work with the community to set out the brief and develop the design. This work is scheduled to start in the next month and will be carried out in parallel with the work by Catalyst over the next six months.

The new community centre design will be more efficient, sustainable and affordable but still allowing existing users to return. We will work with the community to broaden the range of activities the new centre can offer while still providing space for existing users to return.

No decisions have yet been made on how the new centre will be managed and this will be developed in consultation with the community.

If you want to be involved register your interest by emailing bblregen@oxford.gov.uk

The Public Square

The new public space will be an extension to the community centre. It will offer opportunities for new events to take place.

The realignment of the road will allow a larger, safer and more useable public space next to the new shops and we will look forward to working with the community for ideas on what can happen here.

The new square will support improvements to cycle and pedestrian routes through the estate.

The New Shops

The new shops will replace the existing and we will support existing retailers to move in where possible.

The new shops will be built before the existing shops are demolished to make sure that residents do not lose this essential service.

We are already working with existing shop owners to understand their needs.

We will look to balance the needs of the retailers with the needs of the community and as part of the wider picture of the development.

Housing

There will be a mix of new affordable homes at the District Centre including shared ownership and social rent. Knights Road will offer new homes for sale and some shared ownership. Over 50% will be for social rent and 25% shared ownership. Only 25% will be market sale.

At the District Centre there will be a range of flats including 1, 2 and 3 bedroom. These will include new shared ownership homes offering increased opportunities for young people to stay local to get on the housing ladder.

Some homes at the District Centre will offer new chances for residents to move from under-occupied homes to smaller more suitable flats including homes which are more adaptable for those with mobility issues and wheelchair accessible properties.

The new homes at Knights Road will be mostly two and three bedroom market sale houses.