32 St Giles' Oxford OX1 3ND

23 March 2019

 Change of use of a bank (Use Class A2) with ancillary residential unit on third floor to a mixed use comprising retail unit (Use Class A1) on the ground floor and monastic, university hall and administration spaces (Use Class Sui Generis) on the ground floor, first and second floors and student accommodation (Use Class Sui Generis) on the third floor. Associated external alterations including changes to windows and doors to the rear and northern side elevations, replacement timber sash windows throughout and 4no. air conditioning units to the rear.

The comprehensive changes planned by Blackfriars for the internal layout of this building are welcome, and are well planned to provide up-to-date facilities and varied-use accommodation. There is one concern: at the back there is a very small and narrow external space which needs to accommodate staff cycles (difficult to extract cycles if full), waste disposal facilities for more than one occupying organisation and various air-conditioning units etc. Is this space going to be adequate? It may have been, for many years, but current regulations and these new plans may require a rethink.