The latest step forward for Oxford North has been approved by the city council.

Detailed designs for its new central park, landscaped areas, including a wildflower meadow, woodland, pond and children’s play area, along with the new public square, north of the scheme’s iconic Red Hall building, have been resolved for approval by the planning committee.

Oxford North Ventures’ (ONV) one million sq ft scheme of laboratory and workspaces, 480 new homes, hotel, nursery, cafes, bars, three public parks and infrastructure is currently under way while reserved matters applications for later phases go through the system. ONV is a joint venture between Thomas White Oxford, Cadillac Fairview and Stanhope.

The current application is part of Phase 1a, due for completion in Q1, 2025.

Sibylla Hartel, partner of landscape architect Gustafson Porter + Bowman, said: “It has been a privilege designing Oxford North’s central public spaces. We have focused on wildflower meadow planting, climate-resistant Mediterranean planting and a new pond, which will be a natural feature.

“The woodland area will be a welcoming space in design and visual terms, providing a natural edge to the park, with additional tree canopy cover and a positive contribution to the biodiversity net gain requirements for the site.

“The pond, while forming part of the overall sustainable drainage strategy and contributing to biodiversity net gain, will also enhance the park’s visual amenity.

“To encourage walking and cycling and connectivity into the city, our new pedestrian and bicycle route through this new district will lead to Joe White’s Lane, the Oxford Canal path and Wolvercote. The new public square will be a hive of activity and the children’s play area a welcoming place for families and carers to all enjoy.”

David Camp, chief executive of Stanhope, said: “We are focused on creating a new space and outdoor amenity which promotes wellbeing and works for not just the people who will be living and working here in the future, but also the wider community.

“Oxford North will be a place to visit and enjoy and, thanks to these detailed designs being given the green light, we can continue delivering such space to enhance the area, the overall project and people’s experience of this new place.”

The team also includes Fletcher Priest Architects, AKT II, Hoare Lea, Alinea Consulting, Stantec, Savills, PFB, Reef Associates, People Friendly Design, BSG Ecology, and EDP.

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