North Place gates saga continues

Gates still out of order

Gates still out of order

It’s taken months for the City Council to make the software work with the gates in North Place. Finally the supplier got this working last week and now the gates have been vandalised.

They were shown to work, although temporarily, so have been commissioned. We therefore assume that they cannot be deemed to have been totally unfit for purpose as many residents and councillors had suspected.

The gates were installed in order to stop unauthorised vehicles driving into the area next to Bury Knowle House and Lock’s Court. The controversial Lock’s Court development was permitted only on condition that it is car-free and tenancy agreements confirm this, but residents in neighbouring North Place have complained of taxis and cars causing noise and light disturbance overnight.

We are urgently pressing the City Council to bring these gates into working order as local residents are losing faith that they will ever be usable.

On top of all that, the Library lift isn’t working either. That was put in by the County Council and we have had a number of complaints about it. Another project that does not appear to have been either fit for purpose or value for money?

4 thoughts on “North Place gates saga continues

  1. Martin says:

    I have to say, as a Quarry resident who frequents Bury Knowle Park almost daily for dog walks, I cannot fathom how the residents of Locks Court carve an existence. Much too dangerous for the young families and women I have seen coming to and from that development, especially early evening as the night draws in. I personally think it is incredible that this was given the go-ahead. Furthermore, presuming the gates are not accessible for Locks Court residents (please do correct me if I am wrong), it seems in the lightest terms barbaric that real people are being denied access to their own homes.

    • Martin, the planning application for homes in Lock’s Court was approved on condition that it would be a car-free development, and tenants signed agreements to say that they would not bring vehicles. We made sure lighting improvements were made but I agree that there have been big problems over access. There is pedestrian access via North Place and the Park. The whole project proved contentious with worries about pedestrian safety of park users and many changes of site construction manager. Complaints have been made by others in the area that Lock’s Court tenants are parking cars in the little car park inside the North Place entrance and North Place parking issues are being dealt with by the City Council’s Tenancy Management team. Ruth.

      • Martin says:

        Thank you for clearing that up Ruth – although I am still at dismay as to how they have moved families in and deemed this appropriate! I have seen in another article that the residents have been parking in the Bury Knowle Car Park – surely it would make sense for them to park in the area where Oxfordshire Youth buildings are – I can understand not wanting to bring cars into the park (although there is a road!) however, I cannot fathom how anybody would expect families to not need access to a car. I have actually been walking there this evening, and I think the lighting in that area is also appalling. I think the residents there may need some support for a compromise as I certainly wouldn’t want my family there, and from other articles I have seen, less vilification. Martin

        • Thanks Martin. Parking space near the BK House outbuildings is allocated to those who lease property there from the Council and this is enshrined in their leasing agreement. Lock’s Court tenants signed up to a tenancy agreement when applying for their properties to say that they will not bring a vehicle. Planning permission for new build in Headington is very often granted subject to it being car-free, and these properties are usually excluded from resident and visitor on-street parking permits. This is because there just isn’t room for any more vehicles to park, and more dwellings can be fitted onto land if they have no parking entitlement. Affordable housing is needed desperately in Headington. Newly moved-in residents can feel aggrieved that they can’t park on street but their neighbours can. Another sensitive issue. Ruth

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