Green light for Oxford
Date of Article
Jan 12 2011

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A major business and housing development has been given the go ahead in Oxford following the approval of the City’s Core Strategy by an Independent Inspector.

In his report the Inspector gave full endorsement to the Core Strategy which will provide the planning framework for Oxford up to 2026.  

The Oxford Planning Team has worked closely with the development consortium of Kier and Goodman in promoting land next to the A34 Peartree roundabout, known as the Northern Gateway.  This strategically important site is located at the northern entrance to the City and includes land owned by Worcester and St Johns Colleges.

The Planning Team was involved throughout the examination of the Oxford Core Strategy which has been one of the longest running examinations in the country – indeed so long that the original Inspector retired and a new Inspector was appointed to conclude proceedings!  However the hard work paid off with Inspector being convinced that Northern Gateway project should be seen as a fundamental part of the plan for the City.  The Inspector stated that,

‘’I consider that there are very strong reasons to support an employment-led strategic development in this area……I believe these strategic proposals should continue to form a central plank of the Core Strategy.’’

He recognised that the site will have a crucial part in job creation for the City, particularly in the private sector,

‘’Undoubtedly, for national and strategic reasons, Oxford has an important role to play in the future prosperity of the area and further economic growth is envisaged to reflect its position.’’

The proposals at Northern Gateway include some 55,000 sqm of offices with potential for up to 80,000 sqm, which equates to 3,000 to 4,000 new jobs.  It is expected that this site will become a major employment area that will build on strengths of Oxford’s economy in the key sectors of education, health, research and development and knowledge-based industries.  The site offers the opportunity for existing and new firms to relocate to ensure Oxford’s economy continues to grow.

However, the site will also contain other complimentary uses including at least 200 residential dwellings, an emergency services centre, retail, hotel and related leisure facilities.

Work will now commence on preparing detailed plans for the site eventually leading to an outline planning application.

For further information contact Mike Robinson in the Oxford office.