Oxford City Council has published a statement regarding the Oxford North Project.
In December 2019, Oxford City Council’s Planning Applications Committee made a resolution to grant planning permission for the £500 million new innovation district for the City, made by Thomas White Oxford, the development company of St John’s College.
In the statement, the City Council said: “In 2015, Oxford City Council approved an Area Action Plan which sets the principle of development in the Oxford North area, formerly called the Northern Gateway. This recognised that it is a strategic site identified in the Local Plan for the development of employment space and housing, including affordable housing.
“The main landowner, Thomas White Oxford (TWO), brought forward proposals for a mixed development, and in December 2019, Oxford City Council’s Planning Applications Committee made a resolution to grant planning permission.
“This was subject to a review mechanism that would enable the minimum 35% affordable housing (the equivalent of 168 homes, of which 80% will be for social rent, and 20% for shared ownership) to be increased to up to 50% affordable housing if the economics of the project justify this.
“It was also subject to determining an appropriate level of developer contributions to mitigate the impact of the development on the local community and infrastructure – known as a Section 106 agreement.
“Oxford City Council is now in the final stages of settling the Section 106 agreement with Thomas White Oxford, which we hope to conclude in the coming weeks. This will then allow the Council to grant planning permission for the scheme.”
Earlier in January, In response to Oxford City Council’s publication of the draft Section 106 agreement relating to Oxford North, a spokesperson for Thomas White Oxford said: “We have continued our positive discussions for Oxford North with both Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council.
“We hope to be able to conclude matters shortly so that we can commence our exciting plans for a new place for Oxford. Oxford North will provide a sustainable community with new homes, of which a minimum of 35% will be affordable, and much-needed office and laboratory space for life science and technology companies, alongside infrastructure improvements and open spaces for everyone to enjoy.
“The agreement encapsulates our commitment to invest in biodiversity, improved bus services connecting to Headington and Cowley, A40 and A44 improvements including Peartree Interchange and a link road, public art, children’s play areas and safer routes to school. We are committed to investing in a place that will enhance people’s quality of life and deliver positive socio-economic impacts.”