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Medical centre is a jobs boost
Nearly 3,000 people will be employed in a new medical research centre proposed by Oxford University in Headington.
An outline planning application to develop the 28-acre Park Hospital site, including a multi-storey car park, is soon to be submitted.
The university says it wants permission before completing the multi-million pound purchase of the former children’s hospital site from Oxford Health NHS Trust.
The hospital site would be linked to the neighbouring £57m Old Road campus to form a vast science park, which the university says will secure Oxford’s future as a world leader in medical research.
But residents are calling for a full traffic survey to establish the impact on Headington’s already congested roads.
A total of five new buildings are proposed, with three on the Park Hospital site and two on the Old Road campus.
The car park is likely to be four or five floors, including underground parking for about 450 cars. It would be part of an amenities building in Roosevelt Drive that would include a canteen, gym and creche.
The university said it wanted to retain the site’s “park-like character”.
Prof Rodney Phillips, the university’s assistant head of medical sciences development, said: “If the outline plan is approved the purchase will go ahead. If we were not allowed to build anything on the site, we would have to consider whether the purchase was worthwhile.”
He revealed there would be no immediate plans to demolish the existing hospital building.
Now known as Boundary Brook House, the former hospital currently provides services for children and young people.
He said the development of the site could take more than 20 years, with no funding for the new buildings yet in place.
A statement issued by the East Oxford Residents’ Association Forum said: “The current development proposal will double staff numbers to nearly 3,000, and add an estimated 500 more cars to the already heavily congested roads.”
Helen Marshall, director of the Oxfordshire branch Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “We are not totally opposed to the proposals, but are concerned about the scale of the proposed Park Hospital development.”