12:00pm Wednesday 15th May 2013
By Oliver Evans
PLANS to replace a car hire firm with family-sized homes near Oxford city centre have been welcomed.
Banner Homes this week held an exhibition on its proposal for nine homes in Abbey Road, off Botley Road, by Oxford train station.
It would go on the site of car hire firm Avis – which would have to leave – and is supported in Oxford City Council development plans.
The land is owned by the Oxford college Christ Church.
The plans – for three terraces of four-bedroom homes – were welcomed as a boost for much-needed housing in the area when they were put on show at West Oxford Community Centre in Botley Road on Monday.
Abbey Road resident Pat Jones said: “It will be a big improvement to the area, it is like what is already here.
“I can’t see any way you can fault it.
“It is quite a good road now, it is sought after, we are on a towpath, it is very central to the city and close to the railway station.”
She said she hoped the homes would not be used as houses with multiple occupation, which have three or more people forming more than one household and require council licences.
The business owner said: “You would lose the community aspect to the area. That is one thing that most people wouldn’t want.”
Some raised concerns about the traditional design of the homes.
Jericho and Osney city councillor Susanna Pressel said: “Two residents said they were disappointed the design was pastiche, they wanted something more modern and contemporary.
“I think that is a minority view but it’s interesting because the developer is imitating old houses.”
A planning application has yet to be submitted to the city council, but the site is earmarked for homes and Banner has an option to buy the land if permission is given.
Mark Booth, managing director of Banner Homes Midlands, said: “We are pleased with the number of people that attended the consultation meeting and the encouraging comments we received.
“We will be reviewing their comments before submitting the planning application.”
Avis did not respond when invited to comment.
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