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Area masterplan is 'long overdue'
FRESH calls have been made for a Headington “masterplan” as proposals for a major redevelopment were lodged.
Oxford University has submitted its long-awaited plans for the seven-acre Park Hospital site.
Two-weeks ago the university completed its purchase of the site from Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and will now turn it into a medical science centre.
The plans, which have been put forward for approval by Oxford City Council , include the location and height of the proposed buildings and details of the road layout.
But concerns have been raised about the impact it could have on the area’s “creaking infrastructure”.
City councillor Ruth Wilkinson said: “Headington hosts four hospitals and two universities, several of which are planning major developments.
“An area plan for Headington is long overdue to sort out our traffic congestion, cycle routes, parking problems and creaking infrastructure once and for all.
“I also hope the University will do all it can to encourage its staff to use shops and businesses in the Headington district centre.”
The science park will include 48,000 square metres of research floorspace over five plots with a four-storey car park with 459 spaces.
The lowest buildings will be constructed around the edge of the site while taller buildings, up to five storeys high, will be built in the centre.
Cars will continue to enter via Roosevelt Drive, but additional pedestrian and cycling access will be added in Old Road. It is anticipated that the complex, which will join up with the existing Old Road campus, will take up to 30 years to complete.
The university said it will demolish the Park Hospital building, constructed in 1886 and now referred to as Boundary Brook House.
In its application, the university said: “Though they have been altered over time and are not listed, Boundary Brook House [has] some minor historic and aesthetic value, and some significance because of the important community use.
“It is only possible to gain a limited view of the intact west facade from the public highway. Therefore the adverse impact on the character and appearance of the area will also only be slight.”
Initially the building, which is currently used for child and adolescent mental health services, will be leased back to the trust for 20 years.
The sale of the land to Oxford University is conditional on planning permission being granted by the city council and the trust has not been able to confirm how much money it has changed hands for.
Trust spokesman Carrie-Ann Wade Williams said: “Once this has all been confirmed, then we will be in a position to clarify figures and share them more widely.
“Revenue generated from the sale of the site when it proceeds will be invested into services for young people.”
A decision will be made by a committee of Oxford city councillors, but a date has not yet been set.