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University’s hospital bid is ‘revolutionary’
Oxford University has confirmed its proposals for Headington’s Park Hospital site.
The seven-acre site will be home to four new laboratories and a multi-storey car park and will be developed over the next eight years into a “revolutionary” science facility.
Details were released at public consultation sessions this week showing buildings up to three storeys high – but the university has said it will put the tallest buildings away from the site boundary.
A four-storey car park is included with a restaurant, shop and possibly a gym available to Headington residents.
The 126-year-old Park Hospital building will initially be leased back to Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which owns the land, but will eventually be knocked down.
Nearly 3,000 people will be employed on-site and residents have expressed concern about this influx of workers.
Local city councillor Ruth Wilkinson, pictured inset, said: “The University’s plans would bring work and prestige to Headington.
“People worry most about traffic congestion and parking, and this will need a big developer contribution.”
But John Cracknell, a transport consultant employed by the university, is looking into ways to solve this problem.
He said: “We are aware transport is a serious issue.
“The park-and-ride provides us with a way of getting people here for the short to medium term.”
He added that the university was looking into a number of possible long-term solutions including a dedicated bus between Thornhill and the Old Road campus.
Oxford University has said it will make a financial contribution to ease the problem Last year the university was given permission to build a £57m development on the neighbouring Old Road campus which is under construction and includes the Nuffield Department of Medicine and the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology.
Councillors called the plan into appeal because of parking concerns in the area.
Oxford University had to contribute to a residents’ parking zone in East Oxford and the institution has offered money to help the city deal with its planned expansion.
Professor Rodney Phillips of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine said: “This university has a long history of contributions to medical science. The Park Hospital is a revolutionary acquisition.”
The university hopes to submit a planning application next month.