Public asked to air views on Gateway proposals

The Oxford Times: City councillor Colin Cook City councillor Colin Cook

PEOPLE will soon be able to have their say on one of Oxford’s biggest developments.

The public are being asked their thoughts on the Northern Gateway, including whether to turn the Pear Tree park-and-ride into a multi-storey car park with around 500 additional spaces.

Oxford City Council wants to know if people would prefer taller buildings to make way for more green space or to restrict the height of buildings because of their appearance.

It is presenting the public with a number of options and the document will go out for public consultation after being approved by councillors.

It includes details of what the council wants to see on the 100-acre site, including plans to improve Cutteslowe and Wolvercote roundabouts.

For the first time the public will soon be able to have their say on the proportion of housing on the site, what traffic measures are introduced and how the development should look.

Michael Buck, chairman of the Wolvercote Commoners Committee, said: “We feel the housing would be much better than the science park aspect of it and we are concerned about the density of the whole development.”

The site would also be home to a hotel of around 180 rooms and some small retail units as well as up to 500 homes.

Now the city council has begun drawing up its plan for the site which will have to be approved by a planning inspector before building work can start.

Principal planning officer Rachel Williams said it offered a rare opportunity to provide a significant development within the city.

She added: “It also offers the opportunity to provide additional new homes and associated facilities in the form of a thriving and vibrant new community that forms part of Oxford.”

Plans for the scheme have identified a triangle of land between the A40, A34 and A44 near Wolvercote, along with land north of the Wolvercote roundabout and south of the A40. But proposals for a school and a new base for the South Central Ambulance Service look to have been scrapped.

Two new roads have been outlined linking the A40 and A44 as well as closing off the Godstow Road and Five Mile Drive exits on to the Wolvercote Roundabout to tackle traffic congestion.

A park-and-ride at Eynsham could also be created to help tackle congestion on the A40.

City councillor Colin Cook, the executive board member for city development, said: “The details of the traffic improvements will come forward in due course. We are working with the county council.”

The issue will be discussed at a meeting of the city council’s executive board on Wednesday at 5pm.

Once approved the options document will go out for consultation.

To see the options go to Northern Gateway options.pdf

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