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Wine, oil, corn and salt

OX Place has celebrated a milestone within the development of a flagship metropolis middle housing improvement by holding a standard ‘topping out’ ceremony.

Oxford Metropolis Council’s housing firm and builders Wilmott Dixon are constructing 36 new properties on Speedwell Avenue. The event is a single block of 4 to 6 storeys and topping out marked the constructing reaching its highest level.

In a ceremony with origins relationship again to Saxon occasions, wine, oil, corn and salt have been poured onto the constructing to bless it with good luck.

Wine stands for fertility and knowledge. Oil represents liberty and prosperity. Corn ripens prosperity into abundance. Salt symbolizes purity and hospitality.

This ceremony historically befell to make sure no evil spirits could be trapped within the constructing and to carry prosperity and good luck for the longer term. Extra just lately, it was used to bless the wooden when this was the first development materials.

The ceremony was attended by council chief Cllr Susan Brown, chief govt Caroline Inexperienced and lord mayor Cllr James Fry, along with council, Wilmott Dixon and OX Place workers – together with managing director Helen Horne.

36 new properties

The brand new improvement is known as Bridges Cross and might be greatest recognized to present Oxford residents as the positioning of former homeless hostel Lucy Faithfull Home.

Bridges Cross has been supported with £1,377,000 in funding from the Oxfordshire Housing and Progress Deal and practically three quarters (72%) of the event is inexpensive.

The 36 flats present 15 council properties let at social lease, three council properties at inexpensive lease and eight properties bought on a shared possession foundation. The remaining 10 flats are for market sale.

OX Place’s ‘material first’ method imply all its developments characteristic enhanced insulation and air tightness requirements. Consistent with council planning necessities, Bridges Cross will obtain at the very least 40% past the carbon discount targets in 2013 constructing laws.

Rooftop photo voltaic PV panels will assist generate as much as 40% of the event’s power use.

The event is automobile free, aside from two parking areas for residences that may be tailored for individuals with a incapacity. Every flat has two bicycle parking areas and a non-public terrace or balcony, with entry to 2 communal characteristic courtyards.

An archaeological excavation final 12 months unearthed new proof of a Dominican Order (Blackfriars) friary which sat on the positioning from 1246 till the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1538. Bridges Cross references the Blackfriars’ black and white coat of arms by utilizing gentle and darkish constructing supplies all through.

Bridges Cross is because of full in early 2023.


“Our housing firm is constructing for Oxford’s future and Bridges Cross is a vital a part of the council’s purpose to ship extra inexpensive low-carbon properties in our metropolis. I used to be delighted to see the progress on these new properties. And on this web site of historic significance going again to the 13th century, it was beautiful to take part in a standard topping out ceremony nodding again to our metropolis’s medieval previous.”

Councilor Susan Brown, chief of Oxford Metropolis Council

“Topping out is a vital milestone in any improvement and we have now blessed Bridges Cross by pouring wine, oil, corn and salt onto the constructing. OX Place appears to be like ahead to finishing the event and seeing individuals transfer into their new properties subsequent 12 months, which I hope will carry them prosperity and good luck.”

Helen Horne, managing director, OX Place

“We’re delighted to mark this essential milestone on the Bridges Cross improvement. The venture will play an essential position in OX Place delivering the council’s formidable housing improvement programme. We’re working intently with Oxford Metropolis Council on its decarbonisation programme, and we’re proud to be embedding a wealth of sustainable constructing methods at Bridges Cross, which as soon as full will permit it to function at 40% beneath present authorities carbon discount targets.”

Richard Poulter, managing director at Willmott Dixon’s Central South area

(LR: Wilmott Dixon director Neville Dale, lord mayor Cllr James Fry, OX Place managing director Helen Horne, council chief Cllr Susan Brown, conducting the topping out ceremony. Image equipped by Wilmott Dixon)


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