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Shops and parks are on the Leys wish list
NEW shops and spruced-up parks were top of the list for Blackbird Leys residents ahead of a major regeneration of the estate.
Last week, Oxford City Council announced it had brought in The Prince’s Foundation charity to consult on plans for a revamp.
Executive director of city regeneration David Edwards promised a significant amount of money would be spent on the estate.
Consultation events were held with residents and groups for the first time on Friday to see what they would most like to see happen.
Biljana Savic, urban programme manager at The Prince’s Foundation, said: “We saw quite a few people and the group sessions provided a lot of feedback, which is what we wanted.
“We learned about how the area works at the moment and managed to start developing one or two ideas.”
Improvements that have already been confirmed include a £2m refurbishment of the two tower blocks Windrush and Evenlode.
Other ideas are centralised on four main areas: the central area of Blackbird Leys, the South West corner, green spaces and transport infrastructure.
Resident and health and safety consultant William Clark, 62, of Pegasus Road, Blackbird Leys, attended a public meeting at the Leys Leisure Centre on Friday.
He said: “I think we need to make sure the green space on the estate does not end up getting built over.
“Improving the shopping area on the estate would be a good thing.
“But there are 15,000 people living on the estate and what might suit one group of people may not suit another.
“It’s important that residents keep taking the opportunity to take part in these consultations.”
Parish councillor Cyril Martin was also at the meeting.
He said: “What I hope is the people of Blackbird Leys will come and have their say on their estate .
“We have been here long enough, we can decide our own future.
“What I would like to see is all the leftovers from the joyriding 20 years ago removed.
“This includes things like the big island in the road outside the shops, as I think that is dangerous.”
He added: “I just hope they get it right, that’s all. There are a lot of things that could be done here.”
The team from the Prince’s Foundation plans to work on ideas from last week and conduct one-to-one sessions with various groups from the estate.
It will then return in early December for more detailed planning sessions.