Jericho—Round Five

Published: Thursday, 12 February 2015

MANY of the older readers of narrowboatworld may remember the various battles to get the old Jericho Boatyard at the bottom of the Oxford Canal redeveloped, and their failures. (Another Jericho battle?)

Now it is Round Five of the battle, with approval being given for a £20m redevelopment of the Castle Mill Boatyard in Jericho in Oxford, though some 45 planning conditions have been included in the latest scheme.

Nine years

It was nine years ago when the then British Waterways attempted to get the boatyard redeveloped into housing, but had a fierce battle on its hands, with even having to erect razor wire around the property as protection, earning it the name of Stalag 13. The battle being with well-led boaters who were demanding a boatyard be included in the plans.

The result was that plan after plan was put forward by various developers—four in all up to October 2013—but the friction caused by the opponents to the various schemes resulted in all of the would-be developers giving up.

Community could benefit

However the latest plan has been approved by Oxford City Council by 7 votes to 1, so is scheduled to go ahead, though the agreement is that the community could benefit from developer contributions, that will be discussed at a later date. The picture shows the original boatyard.

The protesters, in the form of resident groups have at last succeeded in getting their boatyard facilities, together with a community centre including a nursery and 22 homes, though the groups want the plans held up until a legal agreement is reached for the community centre and boatyard facilities.

Perhaps after all these years the old boatyard will be redeveloped, unless of course, as in the past, the developers become frustrated by the many planning conditions, and so to Round Six.