Campus homes plan a step nearer

An image of the proposed redevelopment of Wheatley Campus

Oxford Brookes University’s plans to build up to 500 homes on the site of its Wheatley Campus edged closer last month.

The masterplan for the site includes 40 per cent affordable homes, retention of existing mature trees, areas of open space, a new sports pavilion and multi-function space for use by the wider community.

Director of estates and facilities management at Oxford Brookes University, Sue Holmes, said: “We’re working towards a student-centred, integrated and sustainable estate which reinforces our position as a leading university.

“An outline planning application has now been submitted, having been informed by feedback from representatives and the community.”

Both Wheatley Parish Council and Holton Parish Council opposed the plans for the 53.4 acre Wheatley Campus near the A40 in letters submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council in February.

A spokesperson for Holton Parish Council said it is “not opposed to the concept of residential redevelopment” if the plans are “confined to the footprint of the existing built area”.

Holton Parish Council said the brownfield land does not cover the entirety of the campus and that the plan “does not comply with the protection afforded to Green Belt land and should not be permitted”.

Robert Gardner, from real estate advisory service GVA, said: “South Oxfordshire District Council earmarked the Wheatley Campus site as suitable for housing in its Emerging Local Plan and the site is well positioned to act as a natural extension to the existing village.

“We have worked closely with Oxford Brookes throughout the process, providing advice on a range of matters and helping the university ensure that the planning application takes into consideration both the institution’s aspirations and feedback garnered from the local community.”

GVA’s land and development team is now bringing the site to market to find a suitable development partner.

All academic, research and ancillary functions of the university will relocate from Wheatley by 2021/22.

The site is home to computing, engineering and motorsports students including accommodation, a library and student union shop.

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