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Ex-RIBA president launches a broadside at PRP’s Oxford boathouse scheme

A scheme to redevelop an Oxford boatyard by PRP Architects has been attacked by ex-RIBA president

A scheme to redevelop an Oxford boatyard by PRP Architects has been attacked by ex-RIBA president George Ferguson (pictured).

Developer Spring Residential appointed PRP more than two years ago to come up with plans to redevelop the Castle Mill Boatyard in the city’s Jericho district into 54 flats.

But the scheme has been blasted by campaigners, who have sent more than 600 letters to Oxford City Council in protest. Among them is one by the former RIBA president.

Ferguson wrote: ‘The current application is based on the false premise that this should be regarded as yet just another “anywhere” canal-side residential scheme. It is a special site with its special history and activity as a working boatyard.

‘The proposed development and its uninspiring public space totally fails to reflect this or to incorporate the sort of uses that will attract the traditional waterside activity that this site calls for.’

PRP said: 'CABE has clearly been supportive of the proposals in terms of the quantum, form, massing, height and plan form on the site and they acknowledge that the site's features have determined the built form.

'Overall the built form has been developed in response to input from Oxford City Council and the feedback received from the public consultation, supporting the collaborative approach we have taken.

'These proposals also allow for additional community centre frontage onto the square promoting its use as an active public place benefitting from new pedestrian and cycle routes along the canalside, linking the new canal bridge to the square. The canalside public realm also serves as a point of access to the overlooking apartments making the square an integral part of the design,' PRP added.

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