Sports Field William Morris Close Oxford Oxfordshire OX4 2SF

8 October 2019

Outline Planning Application (Precise landscaping scheme to form subject of detailed reserved matters submission) for development comprising 86 residential units (a mixture of private socially rented and intermediate units) together with public and private amenity space, access, bin and cycle storage and car parking.

This application and its predecessors have been running for far longer than BREXIT and seem to be progressing with comparable slowness. The present application is still not a full application but remains in Outline. However, the present application does now seem to have reached a stage where  it may be acceptable provided several remaining issues can be satisfactorily resolved. This is because over the last year there has been substantial progress in reaching s far more satisfactory layout for the site and the number and height of the buildings have been sensibly reduced/ Now it is proposed to build 16  one bed flats, 56 two bed flats, 7 three bed houses. 6 four bed houses and one 5 bed house. 50 % are said to be affordable, with 34 being for social rent and 9 for shared ownership; with 50% being private flats or houses for private ownership. The contentious issue of provision of a sports facility may be approaching resolution in that it appears agreement may haver been reached to fund an alternative sports pitch at Oxford Spires Academy. Design issues , too, may be approaching resolution although OCS note that the Oxford Design Revies Panel has commented that the “low quality urban design and architecture in the site’s immediate vicinity”  astound spur the applicant to make sure that this development has ”its own distinctive character “. The siting of the cycle stores requires further improvement. The landscape character is not to be decided in this OUTLINE application but still require to be carefully assessed if this progresses to a full application for reserved matters.

OCS hope that this site will shortly be developed in a way which achieves a good quality design and resolves the outstanding issues of sports provision,  cycle store location and achieves a high quality distinctive character of its own. This could make a helpful contribution to meeting housing need in the city and bring back into constructive use a site that has been neglected for too long.