East Oxford Community Centre Princes Street Oxford OX4 1DD
12 June 2020
Partial demolition, refurbishment and extension to the community centre and erection of 12 residential dwellings formed of 7 one-bedroom and 5 two-bedroom apartments, with associated access and landscaping
This is an excellent proposal which has the benefit of solving two major issues. The first is the long-awaited refurbishment of a tired Community Centre. The retention of the original school building is essential. The proposed demolition of a number of buildings, including the gable containing the community kitchen and the Chinese Community Centre to make way for a new community and arts building is welcomed. The exterior of the Chinese Community Centre building is unattractive and in some state of disrepair. We note the concerns of the Oxford Architectural and Historical Society in connection with any period features that may exist in this building and we agree they should be salvaged and retained to be installed in the new building as part of its heritage. The second is the provision of residential dwellings in a new building at the Northern end of the site. Our only observation is that while BM3 claim the design of the apartment block draws on the repetitive rhythm of the terraced housing in the form of simple geometric lines and patterns, it is not the right fit. The block appearance with its flat roof does not blend into the streetscape and should, in our view, be pitched to match the roof line of the other two buildings and the adjacent Victorian terrace houses in Princes Street. If this is not feasible then a similar construction as proposed for the Community and Arts Building adjacent to the apartment block could provide an aesthetic solution to the block.