British Telecom James Wolfe Road Oxford Oxfordshire OX4 2PY
12 September 2017
Demolition of existing buildings. Erection of new student accommodation comprising of 885 student rooms (of which 46 would be fully accessible), communal areas and amenity provision, associated cafe and shop, laundrettes, plant room and electricity substation, new vehicular and pedestrian access to James Wolfe Road and closure of existing, cycle parking, landscaping and new enclosures. Use of student accommodation outside term time by cultural and academic visitors and by conference and summer school delegates.
Provided that the City Council’s policy of limiting the expansion of Oxford Brookes University is enforced, this additional accommodation is to be welcomed and should help relieve pressure on the general housing market. The project is well designed, with the buildings well-spaced around quadrangles. More information is needed on how the spaces for general student use (labelled “student collaboration”) will be equipped. Attention also needs to be paid to the overlooking of neighbouring residences with a requirement for the use of frosted glazing to be used to mitigate this potential problem.
We share the concerns of the residents about car parking and suggest that the area should become a CPZ, with the set-up cost being born by the University. We also recommend that consideration should be given to providing safe routes avoiding the main roads for walkers and cyclists moving between the site and the main Brookes campus on Gipsy Lane.
As this is a very large project a well-designed project management plan will be required to safeguard the interests of local residents.