Rose Hill Advice Centre And Scout Hut Ashhurst Way Oxford Oxfordshire OX4 4RF

4 December 2018

 Demolition of existing buildings and erection of two residential buildings (part two and part three storey) comprising 18no. residential dwellings (C3 Use Class) with associated access, parking and landscape arrangements.

Oxford Civic Society consider this proposal to be flawed and lacking in imagination in a number of respects regarding the design. It is unclear how the application fits within the framework of an explicit urban design and spatial regeneration strategy for the area. However, whilst we recognise the dimensional limitations of the site, the proposal addresses Ashurst Way and Carole’s Way in a positive, defensible manner but leaves the other two site boundaries expose open parking areas and rear dwelling and amenity space boundaries, thus failing in the basic requirements of a robust urbanism. The high, steeply-pitched roofs make the buildings much more prominent than the three storeys of accommodation necessitate and result in considerable wasted volume in unused ‘attic’ space, as well as having consequences for shading of the surroundings. The ‘thrust’ balconies (i.e. projecting cantilevers) are in every case too small to be of practicable use, and are thus fated to be used for nothing but informal storage, detracting from the street scene. The argument that these balconies present a more secure solution than alternatives is implausible, and the balconies do not form an impression of a properly integrated design solution. The amenity spaces provided for ground floor apartments lack privacy, and are severely diminished by the co-location of bike and bin storage. Bicycle storage is inadequate, particularly for visitors. This proposal is a wasted opportunity to provide imaginative-designed and much-needed housing; we would urge refusal on the grounds of poor design and failure to make best use of the site. We would urge refusal on the grounds of poor design and failure to make best use of the site.