At the West Oxfordshire planning meeting yesterday evening, Johnny Sandleson and SIAHAF were given planning permission to build on the Jericho canalside site but with 45 conditions. One of the things to be written into the section 106 agreement is that he will build the boatyard up to and including the concrete slab that will be our roof and the base of the community centre main hall.
We approach this turn of events with cautious optimism but it would seem that he has agreed to build all of the boatyard minus the larger workshop which will be located round the back of the community centre. He verbally agreed to dig out the docks (so presumably the 2 dry docks and wet dock) and put in the foundations. He also agreed to build the chandlery over the top of the boatyard manager’s workshop.
The details of all the Section 106 agreement will be thrashed out between the developer and council officers and then have to be checked over and passed by the committee members. We’re not out of the woods yet. For example, there appears to be no final agreement on the bridge and the developer is going to have to meet with C&RT to further discuss its location and type. In the meeting the members still seemed to believe that C&RT was intractable about the position of the bridge having to be at the southern end of the site. However, in a meeting between JWT and C&RT last month they had said they were open to persuasion. They also suggested that a fixed, boomerang bridge might be more appropriate – and a similar total price in the end – than a lift bridge which would need a large sum of money put aside for its future maintenance. JWT was described as the main recipient of the land on which the community centre and boatyard will be built. JCBY is one of the 4 constituent members of JWT along with the Parish Church Council, the Jericho Living Heritage Trust and the Jericho Community Association.
One disappointment was that Mr Sandleson did not repeat his verbal offer of to dig out the foundations for the community centre which he had made before the previous month’s planning meeting.
It is understood that JCBY will pay rent for the boatyard to JWT in order to pay for its maintenance. We will be looking to appoint an experienced boatyard manager who is happy to oversee both professional and DIY repairs being carried out in the yard. However, this may well not be for some time as a cautious Mr Sandleson said on BBC Radio Oxford that he hoped the building would be complete in 3 years: From 1:28 onwards click to listen.