Plans for the 170-hectare Begbroke Innovation District have been submitted to Cherwell District Council.
Around 1,800 homes (half of them affordable), up to three schools and up to 155,000 sq m of flexible employment space make up the scheme which the joint venture behind it describes as a ‘contemporary new village that seeks to redefine the model for a 21st Century community’.
The outline scheme, by Oxford University Development (OUD), a JV between the university and Legal & General, also includes social infrastructure such as shops and restaurants. Around half the space will be kept open.
Research tenants and university spin-outs will be able to scale-up and expand and upgraded facilities for academic research are designed to continue the university’s ability to attract top talent.
The design of the new village is intended to ensure it achieves net zero carbon emissions once in operation. No fossil fuels will be used as power sources and sustainable forms of transport will be encouraged through pedestrian and cycle routes linking the development to surrounding villages and Oxford.
Anna Strongman, chief executive of OUD, said: “Our plans for Begbroke Innovation District have taken an important step forward with the submission of our outline planning application. I’m proud of the proposal we have created, and firmly believe it is driven by science, is embedded in nature and, importantly, has the local community at its core.
“Through our extensive consultation, we have listened to local residents, and their community representatives and have taken the time to understand the challenges they face and their aspirations for how they want to see their local area develop.
“Their feedback has played an important role in shaping the proposals we have submitted to Cherwell District Council.
“Our approach includes around half of all homes planned being earmarked for affordable housing tenures, making sure that all of the infrastructure required for a sustainable development of this scale is included within our plans, protecting and enhancing the environment that will form the basis of the new community, and ensuring that we promote a fossil fuel-free energy strategy fit for the future.”
Dr David Prout, pro vice-chancellor (planning and resources) at the university, said: “Begbroke is the only science park in Oxfordshire wholly owned by Oxford University and I believe that its place at the heart of this new community creates a unique proposition. It will foster an ecosystem of curiosity, energy and collaborative spirit and connect local people with some of the world’s brightest minds.
“The university’s aim – working with our partners, Legal and General – is for the development to be the best that it can be in terms of creating an attractive, sustainable and welcoming environment for the benefit of existing residents in the area and the new community.”
The application can be seen at https://planningregister.cherwell.gov.uk/Planning/Display/23/02098/OUT
The project team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 298 7040.
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