Residents’ traffic fears over building at park

The Oxford Times: North Place residents including Marian Dodge and Jim Richmond are worried about construction traffic due to use the narrow road as access Picture: OX65113 Andrew Walmsley Buy this photo North Place residents including Marian Dodge and Jim Richmond are worried about construction traffic due to use the narrow road as access Picture: OX65113 Andrew Walmsley

COMMUNITY groups have expressed concern over the amount of construction traffic set to enter Bury Knowle Park this month.

Two separate building projects at the park in Headington are due to start, with a third due to start later in the spring.

Work which will turn the depot in Bury Knowle Park into a new block of affordable homes will start next Monday.

A week later construction teams will start work on the installation of a new lift at Bury Knowle Library on Tuesday, February 25.

Workers will use the North Place conservation area to enter the park, but this has caused concern among local people.

Jim Richmond, 63, of North Place, said: “The construction vehicles are going to come into Bury Knowle Park by our place.

“We feel it is going to be dangerous for the people who use the park, especially during the summer.

“It is a cobbled stone road and it is very narrow.

“There is a sharp turn and with these big vehicles, we feel there is going to be a lot of damage to the road.

“There will be three construction projects at the same time.

“It is a big, big worry for us.”

The flats in North Place house mostly elderly and often infirm residents.

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Mr Richmond said: “Seventy-five per cent of the people have been here since the buildings went up.

“The construction sites are a big concern for the residents of North Place.”

Friends of Old Headington chairman Veronica Hurst added: “We have known that the library lift should be installed.

“It is going to coincide with the construction traffic.

“We are seriously worried about the effect the construction vehicles will have on Old High Street and also that the people will be able to use the park.”

Friends of Bury Knowle Park vice-chairman Jill Cummings said: “All the construction traffic is coming in and out of this one small entrance.”

Headington city councillor Ruth Wilkinson said: “We know that there will be a lot of construction movement happening around the same time.

“Local councillors, community groups and council staff are working together to try and minimise disruption to park users and North Place residents as much as possible.”

“Access to the depot and the library is very restricted.

“Building materials will be delivered in small vehicles so as not to damage the park, and we are keeping a close eye on pedestrian safety.”

The depot at Bury Knowle Park will be turned into two one-bedroom houses, seven two-bedroom houses and one three-bedroom house arranged around a central courtyard as part of a scheme to boost the number of affordable homes in Oxford.

No one from the developers was available to comment.

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