SAE Institute Oxford Littlemore Park Armstrong Road Oxford Oxfordshire OX4 4FY
24 November 2020
Erection of two 2-storey buildings to provide 3,500 sqm (GIA) of flexible commercial floorspace (Use Class E) with associated car and cycle parking; hard and soft landscaping and public realm works; ancillary structures including refuse stores, substation building and vehicular access via existing entrance from Armstrong Road.
The design of the buildings appears unobjectionable, though not particularly exciting. We have concerns regarding traffic generation and the transport analysis. The draft Travel Plan discusses feasible walking and cycling distances, but not actual routes, and some of the illustrations show cars parked on pavements, on possible walking routes. There is no discussion of routes across the railway line, or public or permissive routes for either walking or cycling to connect with Cowley or more central parts of Oxford; references to NCN Route 5 are a distraction – it does not run close. Motor traffic, at least, will have to travel via Armstrong Road, through Littlemore or Sandford (depending on destination) to go anywhere; the transport report concludes that the development will have a negligible effect on the functioning of the highway network but the report makes no mention of the social or amenity effects on the villages through which the new traffic will pass, and it does not mention the already-severe congestion on, say, the Oxford Eastern By-pass. Consent should not be granted without clarification of details of active travel mode arrangements, and more details of mitigation measures for the adverse effects of traffic on local communities.