Oxford’s Oxpens development has moved a step closer after both shareholders in it agreed to fund work on the planning application.

Oxford City Council and Nuffield College which form the OxWED joint venture behind the project for around 450 homes and commercial space for more than 3,000 jobs, have both agreed to commit up to £1 million each to fund taking the indicative proposals through to the planning application stage.

Additional technical work and studies will be carried out and illustrative designs will be prepared for a public consultation in Summer.

Kevin Minns, managing director for OxWED, said: “Oxpens, as it is today, is a largely under-used and undiscovered part of the city centre with the potential to do so much more for Oxford.

“Its redevelopment is needed and necessary to contribute to Oxford’s growth and to address some of its challenges. 

“It’s not a question of if but of what, how and for whom – and of doing things in the right way to achieve the best possible regeneration. 

“With the funding commitment now in place, we can get on with developing a great set of proposals, informed in due course by conversations with stakeholders and the community and by comprehensive technical assessments.”

OxWed says it now plans to submit the outline planning application by early 2022.

The mixed-use scheme will include a range of housing across 15 acres, anchored around new public realm. The developer wants to make the most of the site’s relationship with the river. 

A team will be appointed to work alongside masterplan architects Hawkins Brown and landscape architects Gillespies.

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