Oxford University Development Ltd (OUD) has applied for planning permission for an important project to renew the graduate housing at Court Place Gardens in Iffley.
OUD is a joint venture company set up by Oxford University and Legal & General Group (L&G) to deliver their long-term development plans.
The project aims to transform the site, where the current 1970s semi-detached housing is reaching the end of its useful life. It aims to create 71 new two- and three-bedroom houses for graduate students and their families, as well as refurbishing 10 units in the Mansion House aimed at single students.
This will help deliver the commitment to create 1,000 new units of graduate housing set out in the University’s current Strategic Plan.
Assuming the planning application is approved in a timely manner, works are expected to start towards the end of 2021 and to finish in time for graduate students to move in for the 2023-24 academic year.
As well as creating comfortable, high-quality new housing, the project will bring many other benefits. The new accommodation will offer much better environmental performance than the current housing, with improved energy efficiency and green technologies such as air source heat pumps and sustainable drainage systems. The site will incorporate landscaped courtyards, play areas and other communal facilities to encourage a sense of community and increase biodiversity on-site, as well as providing infrastructures such as plentiful cycle storage and electric vehicle charging points to enable residents to travel more sustainably.
Plans for the site have been drawn up in close consultation with heritage and ecological experts to ensure they respect the local built environment and ecosystem. Access to the nearby University-owned woodland will be maintained for local people, and there has been careful planning to ensure there will be no negative impact on the wildlife there.
The planning application incorporates feedback received from local people and stakeholder groups, as well as across the University, during a public consultation carried out this spring. OUD is managing the project and will continue to meet local representatives regularly to address any concerns; traffic and noise management plans will help limit the disruption the project causes to the local community.