Local residents and key partners celebrated the start of construction at a new development in Northway this week (14 January).
Delivered in partnership with Oxford City Council, GreenSquare’s development at Dora Carr Close will provide 47 new homes comprising 15 three-bedroom houses, 4 four-bedroom houses and 28 one and two bedroom flats, and a state-of-the-art community centre.
Appointed contractor Stepnell is now on site building the 28 flats - designed by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris – and new community centre with facilities including: a multi-use hall with improved sports changing rooms; social club and community space; local business units; education and learning space.
The new venue will be run by Northway Community Association and will have the capacity to host social occasions such as weddings, conferences, and sports events. Work is expected to finish in December 2015 and the existing community centre will remain open for use until then.
GreenSquare’s chief executive Howard Toplis said: “We have been working closely with our partners at Oxford City Council and the Northway Community Association to reach this important milestone and we are delighted that work is now underway at Dora Carr Close. This project will not only provide much-needed new homes to address the housing need in Oxford, but will also help to revitalise the area with new community facilities.”
At the celebration event, Howard Toplis was joined by Oxford City Councillors for Headington Hill and Northway, Councillors Roy Darke and Farida Anwar to welcome people and talk about the exciting plans for the site and to answer local residents’ questions.
Pat Elliott, management committee trustee and volunteer activity organiser at Northway Community Centre dug the first hole at the development, to officially mark the start on site.
Councillors Darke and Anwar said: “It’s a great achievement to have the new community centre built in Northway out of the partnership between Oxford City Council, GreenSquare and Northway Community Centre Association. We look forward to the building being completed later in 2015 and becoming a hub for community and recreational activities.”
Also at the event, children from New Marston Primary School spoke about a project they’re doing on the great crested newts living in Peasemoor Piece next to the development.
In the lead up to work beginning, GreenSquare worked closely with Oxford City Council on a series of smaller projects around the playing fields, including relocating the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA). At the event, the MUGA was officially opened and local children enjoyed community games run by the City Council’s sports development team.
Councillor Mark Lygo, Board Member for Sports, Parks and Leisure, says: "I am delighted by the replacement multi-use games area, which looks excellent and will ensure that local residents continue to enjoy fun recreational activities such as football, basketball and hockey. Overall, the Northway development provides fantastic new community centre facilities for the residents and helps to meet Oxford’s housing needs.”
A further phase of the project, at nearby Westlands Drive in Northway, will create 21 one and two bedroom flats. This will follow on later with a start on site anticipated in January 2016 once Emmaus Oxford are able to move into their new retail store at Barns Road, which is currently under construction.