Site Of Blocks C F G H J K L And M Clive Booth Hall John Garne Way Oxford Oxfordshire OX3 0FN

12 December 2018

| Proposed demolition of Blocks C, F, G, H, J, K, L and M of the Clive Booth Student Village and erection of 1,077 student bedrooms with associated communal and social facilities. |                                                

 This application has caused great concern among many local and other residents because of the potential impact on local services, the character of the area, the loss of trees and the effect on views, both from a distance and from the nearby allotments.  There is also concern that the proposals displayed at the public exhibition sessions have either been changed or did not reveal in full detail exactly what was being proposed.

In the presentation of any major development proposal, many different documents and explanatory drawings can make it difficult for the public in general and near neighbours in particular to be confident regarding impacts, including visual impacts from key locations in the City and from the development to immediate and relevant district neighbours. We consider that some additional material to that presented in Annexe 7 and Annexe 8 of the Environmental Report would have provided more clarity regarding the local visual impacts of the proposals.

The City Council has required both universities to increase substantially the number of purpose-built student residences to relieve pressure on the general housing stock.  This application represents part of their response. The high density of the development makes good use of land and minimises the loss of trees but inevitably raises questions about noise and pressure on local services, among other things.

On balance, we believe that this development of student housing and support facilities so close to the Headington Campus will have more positive benefits than negative consequences as a result of a carefully crafted scheme which should limit negative impacts on local private and public sector family housing and public transport in the immediate areas. The majority of the day-to-day movements for students between their accommodation and academic and social facilities will largely be internalised within the Brookes estate – other than the pedestrian movements across Headington Road.  It is clear that that the architects and associated consultants have taken care with the siting of the proposed buildings in terms of sensitive views from the site as well as views into the site. We agree with the conclusions of Historic England in this regard.