Petition protests against stadium housing proposal

The Oxford Times: Andrew Smith Andrew Smith

CAMPAIGNERS will give a petition to Oxford City Council today urging it to reject plans to build houses at Oxford Stadium, Blackbird Leys.

On Wednesday the council will consider whether Galliard Homes should be allowed to demolish the stadium for 220 homes.

The former greyhound stadium closed in 2012 with owners the Greyhound Racing Association saying it was no longer profitable.

Andrew Smith, MP for Oxford East, has helped gather a petition with more than 2,000 signatures opposed to the plan.

Together with campaigners he will present the petition to the city council at Oxford Town Hall this afternoon.

He said: “There is overwhelming opposition, both from local residents and stadium supporters across the county, to this planning application.

“People really value the stadium activities and facilities and want to see it fully re-open. There is huge public support for getting back speedway and greyhound racing as well as keeping the dance, karting and other activities on site.”

Ian Sawyer, chairman of Save Oxford Stadium, said: “This campaign has got very widespread support and we hope we can have as many people at next week’s meeting as possible.”

City council planning officers have recommended that the planning application be rejected because of the loss of community facilities and proposed 35 per cent affordable housing. Council policy is to seek 50 per cent.

The east area planning committee will be asked to make a decision from 6pm in the Town Hall, St Aldates. The public can attend.

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