Land North Of Littlemore Healthcare Trust Sandford Road Littlemore Oxford OX4 4XN
30 December 2017
140 residential units together with roads, parking, landscaping and open space.
Although we recognise that this application effectively seeks to renew the expired consent granted to the previous very similar proposal, we consider that there are a number of issues requiring to be given careful consideration in assessing this application.
In the period of time elapsed since the preparation and granting of consent to the previous scheme, the full implications of Oxford’s housing need has been established, the obsolescence of the current Local Plan has been acknowledged, and the preparation of its replacement has passed the ‘Preferred Options’ stage, with much greater emphasis on the need to increase development density with high-quality proposals. The stated density of the current proposal, at 47 dwellings/hectare does not make best use of the opportunity presented, and the design of the buildings and layout is disappointingly reminiscent of the 1970s.
The street layouts show little indication of having been designed to ‘Manual for Streets 2’ standards; although there is a proposal to construct a new cycle track connection alongside the A4074, despite the lip-service paid to the encouragement of active modes of travel, there is little specific provision for cycling within the development and no segregation of routes. Secure, covered cycle storage is provided for residents, but this is likely to be inconvenient for visitors, for whom no additional provision is made.
The recognition of the possibility of the introduction of passenger services on the Cowley branch railway line is welcome, but the thinking behind the provision of 4 parking spaces associated with a possible ‘halt’ is not clear.
We consider that this proposal does not adequately make the best of the opportunity to contribute substantially to meeting the housing needs of the city, or to meet current standards for quality of design.