An update from the Oxford Planning Team
Date of Article
May 30 2022
Planning & development

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This month’s Oxford update includes some notable project successes and exciting team news.

Congratulations to Peter Canavan and Stephanie Weeks as they begin their new roles as Partners and to James Cordery on his appointment as a Group Partner. It is also a pleasure to welcome Ellie Neal to Mayfield House as a Senior Planner. Ellie’s arrival is part of a drive to grow the team further over the next 12 months whilst enhancing its depth of knowledge and expertise. 

Significant project news includes the team successfully securing consent on appeal for Magdalen Road Church, a charitable organisation in Oxford, to build a new community building, create a mixed B1 / D1 use and erect nine dwellings on land between Hertford Street and Essex Street in Oxford. The team worked hard at the application stage to ensure that all comments on design and other issues were addressed. Unfortunately, despite these efforts and a recommendation of approval from officers, the planning committee refused the application. This decision was appealed and at a one-day hearing, the Inspector heard representations from Carter Jonas on behalf of the appellant, Oxford City Council, local residents adjacent to the development and potential users of the space in support of the application. Following the hearing, the appeal was allowed.

“Magdalen Road Church can now realise their dream of delivering a new fantastic community facility to replace their small outdated former premises on Magdalen Road, which Carter Jonas disposed of on their behalf a few years ago.” - Nicky Brock, Partner, Planning & Development South & West Oxford.

Additionally, planning permission has now been granted for the redevelopment of Oxford’s last remaining city centre indoor shopping centre, the Clarendon Centre. The scheme involves the removal of the roof covering the centre and opening the former indoor malls to create open-air streets, with new trees, a landscaped central square, plus a smaller public square which for the first time will open up views onto the historic Oxford Union debating building. The redevelopment involves both the re-use of some existing space, plus the provision of brand-new buildings onto the main surrounding historic streets of Cornmarket and Queen Streets. A mix of uses is to be provided across the site, with a new R&D life science block, new student accommodation for a local Oxford College, new offices and a mix of retail units, cafes, and restaurants on the ground floor.

The team continues to provide planning consultancy services supporting the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) in its plans to create a ‘fusion cluster’ at Culham Science Centre as part of the Government’s National Fusion Strategy. In April the team secured planning permission for a 9,870 m2 research and development building for commercial organisations involved in fusion research. This success is a testament to the excellent working relationship that Carter Jonas and UKAEA have with the District and County Council.