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Bid to bulldoze Oxford Stadium for homes is rejected
Buy this photo » Campaigners outside Oxford Town Hall tonight ahead of the meeting to decide on the stadium’s future. Picture: OX64521 Jon Lewis
PLANS to demolish Oxford Stadium to make way for 220 homes have been unanimously rejected.
More than 200 people turned out to hear the fate of Oxford Stadium at Oxford's Town Hall tonight. And cheers and applause erupted when the plans were turned down by all eight councillors.
Littlemore resident John Howley, 56, said: "It's fantastic and is the right decision. It's one of the best speedway venues in Great Britain. Happy days."
Save Oxford Stadium campaigner Ian Sawyer said: “I’m delighted at the number of people here supporting us. Oxford needs this facility and it can’t be replaced.”
Galliard Homes wants to build 220 homes on the former greyhound stadium and speedway track in Sandy Lane.
Officers had recommended Oxford City Council’s east area planning committee reject the proposal and it was unanimously rejected with eight votes.
In a report, planning officer Martin Armstrong said: “The proposal to demolish all the buildings and structures on the site and redevelop the land for housing would result in the complete loss of all the community facilities.”
Green Party group leader Craig Simmons said: “We desperately need affordable housing in this city – and a site of this size could provide more than 200 homes alongside some recreational space, and other community uses.
“There are some issues with the proportion of affordable housing and the environmental standards in the current application – but the principle of using this site for housing is something we support.”
MP Andrew Smith, backed by Labour councillors, has been campaigning to keep the stadium for greyhound racing.
Deputy chairwoman of the Oxford East Conservative Association Katharine Harborne, expressed her relief at the decision.
She said: "The stadium is a community heritage asset and must be protected.
" I hope Galliard Homes now rethinks its project and comes up with something that is both commercially viable and satisfies the needs of the local community."
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