Local residents, businesses and community stakeholders in Begbroke, Kidlington and Yarnton are invited to a special exhibition to view the latest proposals for the proposed world-class Begbroke Innovation District before the submission of an outline planning application at the end of July.
At the exhibition, Oxford University Development (OUD) will share its updated vision for the new Innovation District, which is proposed to be located around Begbroke Science Park, to the north of Oxford. OUD will also be providing information on the contents of the outline planning application it intends to submit later in July and on the project’s next steps.
Begbroke Innovation District is being shaped as a vibrant mixed-use 170-hectare development by OUD – the joint venture between the University of Oxford and Legal & General. The site was identified for development in Cherwell District Council’s Local Plan to help address Oxford’s urgent demand for available and affordable housing.
Community input has helped inform OUD’s vision and approach throughout the development of the proposals that will form the outline planning application. This engagement has included in-person and online exhibitions in July 2022, November 2022 and earlier this year. This set of public exhibitions marks the final opportunity for people to view the illustrative masterplan before the submission of an outline planning application later in July.
The Innovation District builds on the success of Begbroke Science Park, owned by Oxford University and home to world-class university scientists working with industry decision-makers and entrepreneurs to drive cutting-edge academic research and development through to commercial success. Construction work is underway on two new buildings at the Science Park as part of OUD’s delivery of exemplary sustainable development for Oxford University.
Expected to complete in early 2024, these will provide around 12,500 sq m of exceptional new workspace for commercial research companies to grow and further facilities for academic research.
OUD aims to establish the Innovation District, building on the already established Science Park, as a sustainable, well-connected new community that provides much-needed housing and excellent new places for learning, leisure and work–generating a wide range of jobs.
The illustrative masterplan, developed by Hawkins/Brown for OUD, allows for approximately 1,800 new homes, around 50 per cent of which will be affordable. This mix, which will also include university-linked housing, will help create a balanced community by providing a choice of type and tenure.
The masterplan also shows how the Innovation District will be supported by a range of high-quality amenities and facilities, including space for up to three schools as well as new cafés, restaurants, shops, gyms, and characterful public open spaces over and above the planning requirements for these with parks, gardens and allotments.
Three new attractive neighbourhoods will provide a blend of residential, commercial and community uses, anchored by a new civic plaza set around the Grade II listed Farmhouse, and benefit from close access to generous open space for sport and leisure. These neighbourhoods will be connected by a network of permeable and high-quality routes that prioritise pedestrians and cyclists, along with sustainable transport connections to link the area with surrounding communities.
The upcoming outline planning application will set out the broad framework and parameters for development. From this, future detailed ‘reserved matters’ applications will be made for the phased delivery of the Innovation District over the coming years.
With its commitment to careful and responsible stewardship in the long term, OUD will continue to engage with local communities to help shape detailed proposals for Begbroke Innovation District throughout the lifecycle of the project. Anybody with questions about the drop-in sessions can contact the project team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0800 298 7040.
Oxford University’s Science Park at Begbroke – located five miles from Oxford city centre, between Yarnton and Woodstock – has been home to a wide range of research and development activities since 1999, playing a vital role in the local, regional and national economy.
Begbroke Science Park is the only science park in Oxfordshire wholly owned and managed by Oxford University. It is a cross-departmental research facility currently comprising c.120,000sq ft of office/laboratory space for research groups, high-tech science-based businesses and spinouts, as well as a conference venue and business training centre. It is already home to more than 20 research groups in engineering, materials and life sciences, as well as around 30 high-tech companies.
The Science Park is in the middle of an ambitious expansion, with two new buildings that will provide an additional c.135,000 sq ft of space under construction. The first new building, at c.81,000 sq ft, will comprise commercial space for companies looking to grow and build links with academia, whilst the second (c.54,000 sq ft) will provide academic facilities for the university. The expansion work has been designed by architects nbbj and is being delivered by Mace.