472-474 Banbury Road Oxford OX2 7RG
7 September 2021
Demolition 2no dwelling houses (use class C3). Erection of 1no. four and three-storey building to provide school boarding accommodation (use class C2) including a 2-bedroom masters flat, and 1no. two storey building to provide 2no. 2-bedroom dwelling houses (use class C3). Provision of vehicular and cycle parking and bin storage. Closure of existing northern vehicular access onto A40.
We object to this application on the grounds that it fails to conform to City Council priorities as set out in paragraphs 3.38 – 3.41 and, specifically, with policy H8 of the current Local Plan. The proposed development is not located within or adjacent to any educational campus, being separated by approximately 650 metres from the nearest academic site operated by the joint applicant. The site is not in the city centre, nor close to any district centre, nor has it been designated for student accommodation in the development plan. The change of use of this site to provide student accommodation would thus compromise the much higher priority, to provide domestic, particularly affordable housing. It would “conflict with the overall strategy and vision for Oxford, which is to balance different needs and particularly to maximise provision of general and affordable housing”. The development would also contribute to the ‘institutionalisation’ of Summertown which has been characterised by the progressive incremental expansion of the numerous educational establishments located in the area. The site is adjacent to the location of one of Oxford’s most serious traffic-generated air pollution, and it would be unacceptable to expose the greatly-increased population density of youthful occupiers of the proposed development to the health hazards associated with the prevailing poor air quality. The site access point is within 30m of the exit from one of Oxford’s busiest roundabouts, and the congestion and potential danger to the young residents travelling (including crossing Banbury Road, and many presumably on bicycles) to the teaching sites identified in the application should be considered. No provision is proposed at this site or is available at the other sites of this institution for off-highway loading or disembarkation from coaches. The landscape design is indicative only and appears likely to be compromised by the position of strategic underground services as described by the submission of Thames Water. This application should be refused on the grounds of its conflict with the strategy, vision and specific policies of the City Council, the poor air quality at the development site, the potential congestion and safety issues and the failure to produce a realistic landscape plan for the site.