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Oxford Brookes plans

Plans for new campus

Plans submitted by Oxford Brookes for “Erection of new library and teaching building (NLTB) consisting of lecture theatre, library, teaching accommodation and social facilities, plus linked extension to the Abercrombie building and arcaded building to new entrance piazza to Headington Road” (09/02764/FUL) were approved by the city counci’s Strategic Development Control Committee on 24 February 2010 (but the decision was “called in” to a special meeting of the full council on Thursday 18 March).


Original plans for Gipsy Lane site rejected by full council

The Brookes plans for the controversial new £150m campus at Gipsy Lane were rejected by the full council on 17 September 2009 (09/00695/FUL). The city council’s strategic development control committee initially voted seven to five on 26 August 2009 to approve the controversial new Brookes £150m campus at Gipsy Lane. The plans were for “a new student centre building consisting of lecture theatre, library, teaching accommodation and social facilities, plus linked extension to the Abercrombie building and arcaded building to new entrance piazza to Headington Road”.

Opposition to the proposed six-storey block on the site of the former Darcy building (demolished on 13 August 2008) led Oxford Brookes University to submit a revised plan reducing the height of the building by burying one story underground. This building was condemned in “Nooks and Corners” of Private Eye No. 1238 (12 June–25 June 2009).


Demolition of Lloyd Building

Brookes was also granted Conservation Area consent for “Demolition of Lloyd building and architectural workshop” (09/00696/CAC).


Core Strategy

Oxford Brookes University is objecting to the present phrasing of section CS26 in the City Council’s Core Strategy, complaining that “Oxford Brookes University is being forced out into the suburbs in an unsustainable fashion”. It says, “It is essential for the Core Strategy to ensure that further sites are available to expand its student population”, and states that such sites should be located within a radius of 1.25km of the University’s Headington campus (or a maximum of 1.6km if that is considered too close). The possible named sites include the Morrell Trust allotments off Pullen’s Lane and the Warneford Hospital Playing fields.


John Garne Way

Brookes was granted planning permission for a new development at the junction of Marston Road and John Garne Way with a part three-/part four-storey student accommodation building providing 361 study bedrooms, arranged around a central courtyard containing a single storey amenities building, pond and 104 cycle parking spaces and five car-parking spaces (08/00688/FUL).

Here Brookes is tearing down accommodation at the top of John Garne Way ready to build something bigger:

Demolishing blocks in John Garne Way


Banners

On 22 June 2009 Brookes also submitted plans for ten banners on the Headington Road/Gipsy Lane and four on the Headington Hill Hall site. Both applications were turned down:

Refused plans for ten banners on Headington Road/Gipsy Lane: 09/01376/ADV
“Having regard to the overlarge, dominant and intrusive nature of the proposed banners, the proposals would be detrimental to the Headington Road streetscene and to the Gipsy Lane Campus. The banners would not therefore be appropriate to their visual setting in terms of scale and appearance and would neither preserve nor enhance the character or appearance of the Headington Hill Conservation Area in which they are located, contrary to policies CP1, CP7, CP10, RC14 and NE7 of the Oxford Local Plan.”

Refused plans for four  banners on Headington Hill Hall site: 09/01377/AD
“Having regard to the overlarge, dominant and intrusive nature of the proposed banners, the proposals would be detrimental to the parkland setting of the Headington Hill Hall campus. The banners would not therefore be appropriate to their visual setting in terms of their scale and appearance, and would neither preserve nor enhance the character or appearance of the Headington Hill Conservation Area in which they are located, contrary to policies CP1, CP7, CP10, RC14 and NE7 of the Oxford Local Plan.”


Background: Brookes’s vision

A public consultation on various proposals for the multi-million pound redevelopment of Brookes’s Headington campus was held in February 2008, to which 66 Headington residents (not including Brookes staff and students) responded. They preferred the option that included (1) replacing the large Darcy building with a new public square facing on to the Headington Road, where buses could to pull off the main road, leading on to a courtyard with shared student/community facilities (such as shops, cafés, library); and (2) replacing the Helena Kennedy building with a series of buildings with spaces for graduations, large conferences, and live concert performances.

Another public consultation was held in November 2008.

The masterplan submitted by Brookes to Oxford City Council in March 2008 was only a consultation document. It was discussed by the Strategic Development Committee on 26 September 2008 and although planning officers welcomed it, they raised concerns about the scale of the new buildings and their relation to listed structures.

© Stephanie Jenkins

 

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