Oxford University Development Ltd (OUD) has applied for final planning permission for the proposed construction of two new buildings as part of expansion plans at Begbroke Science Park.
If approved, the project will add a further 12,500 square meters of new lab and office space to the site, almost doubling its total internal area and providing superb new facilities for research & development, collaboration and innovation.
This is among the first projects to move forward under the £4 billion partnership between Oxford University and Legal & General.
OUD is a joint venture company by the two partners – set up to deliver the university’s strategic goal of creating new world-class innovation districts, and support its ambition to provide new housing for staff and graduate students.
Under the plans, one of the new buildings will be used by the university. The other will be leased to the private sector. Talks have been underway with organisations that are potentially interested in occupying space in the latter building. And the university hopes to be able to announce agreements before long.
Council approved OUD’s Initial Response for Phase 1 of the site’s expansion in March 2021, and the university signed legal agreements for the project in July.
The university already has outline planning permission to build on the site, so only a ‘reserved matters’ application covering the detailed design of the buildings is needed here. OUD hopes to receive reserved matters approval in early 2022, allowing work to begin on site later that year, with completion targeted for early 2024.
The aim is to build on the site’s long history as a lively innovation ecosystem in which academic researchers work closely with the private sector to address critical problems facing society. The science park currently hosts some 20 research groups and 30 high-tech science-based businesses and spin-outs.