Decision details

Decision details

Entering into Development Services Agreement with Network Rail regarding Cowley Branch Line PACE Phase 2 Amended Estimated Contract Value

Decision Maker: Executive Director (Development)

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


Cabinet, on 14 December 2022, resolved to:

1.    Approve the funding strategy and recommend Full Council to approve a capital budget of £4.56m to deliver the next phase of the project made up of:

·           Up to £289,000 up front contribution from Oxford City Council from already-secured Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds;

·           Up to £3.5m of the costs to be funded by local landowners and then be reimbursed from CIL paid for any future development by those landowners that gains planning consent after the date that contracts are entered into;

·           At least £771,000 from local landowners and Oxfordshire County Council as a non-repayable grant contribution;

·           In the event that the submitted Levelling Up Fund 2 application seeking £4.0m is found to be successful in total or in part, the local funding arrangement described above would be reduced commensurately from one or more of the funding pots outlined above; and

2.    Delegate authority to the Executive Director (Development), in consultation with the Council’s Section 151 Officer, the Head of Law and Governance, and the Cabinet Members for Health & Transport and for Finance & Asset Management to agree financial contributions and terms, and then enter into all relevant funding agreements and contracts.


Oxford City Council entering into a Development Services Agreement (DSA) with Network Rail Infrastructure Limited, in order to deliver the detailed design stage of work for the Cowley Branch Line, known as PACE Phase 2 in rail industry terminology.

The estimated cost of this contract is £3,261,145 and is funded according to the terms of a Collaboration Agreement, a separate decision.

The DSA sets out the terms by which Network Rail will progress the Cowley Branch Line rail and station infrastructure to detailed design stage, with Oxford City Council as customer and oversight provided from all local funders through a Programme Panel.

Reasons for the decision:

This decision supports the target for delivery of the Cowley Branch Line rail and station infrastructure by December 2026. Subject to local and national funding for the delivery stage being received and all industry and statutory permissions, this strategically important transport project for Oxford and the south-east of England could be complete within four years.

This contractual approach is the standard template used by Network Rail when it undertakes work on behalf of third parties.

Alternative options considered:

There has been no prior call for competition as:

a. competition is absent for technical reasons – Network Rail have progressed the Outline Business Case and are in communication with the Department of Transport on its content and the subject matter of the

agreement is intrinsically linked to the work already undertaken; and

b. no reasonable alternative or substitute exists – the standard documentation of Network Rail has to be used.

Signed off by senior officers:

Decision taken by Tom Bridgman, Executive Director (Development) in consultation with Carolyn Ploszynski, Head of Regeneration & Economy; Nigel Kennedy, Head of Financial Services; Susan Sale, Head of Law & Governance; Councillor Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for Health & Transport; and Councillor Ed Turner, Deputy Leader (Statutory) – Finance & Asset Management.

Urgent item?: Yes

Publication date: 29/03/2023

Date of decision: 29/03/2023

Accompanying Documents: