Agenda and minutes
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Venue: Long Room - Oxford Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Emma Lund, Committee and Members' Services Officer Tel: 01865 252367 email DemocraticServices@oxford.gov.uk
Declarations of interest
Councillor Railton stated that she was a member of Littlemore Parish Council, which had been consulted on the application. Councillor Railton declared that she had not participated in any discussion about the application at the Parish Council, and was approaching it with an open mind.
The Committee considered an application (22/02168/FUL) for erection of 3no. laboratory and office buildings with ancillary commercial uses (all within Use Class E); provision of associated landscaping, car parking, cycle parking and creation of new accesses at Plots 23-26, Oxford Science Park, Grenoble Road, Oxford.
The Planning Officer gave a presentation and highlighted the following:
· The site was designated as a Category 1 employment site and had been allocated for employment use under Local Plan policy SP9. It was also within the Cowley Branch Line Area of Change;
· The application proposed the erection of 3no. 4-storey buildings to serve as offices and laboratories for life sciences research and development purposes, with ancillary uses such as café and childcare facilities;
· Pedestrian access would be prioritised from Heatley Road towards the middle of the site, with vehicles diverted to the sides and the rear of the buildings;
· The public realm between the buildings and fronting Heatley Road would provide a combination of hard and soft landscaping, with permanent built shelters to facilitate outdoor working and socialising;
· The proposal would initially provide 883 car parking spaces (within the basement, at grade, and within the multi-storey car park attached to building 3). The multi-storey car park would be flexible, and able to convert to additional laboratory and office floor space in the future. The associated legal agreement would secure the removal of 200 parking spaces once the Cowley Branch Line was operational at 2 trains per hour;
· The proposed scale, massing and articulation would read as a hard edge when viewed from the A4074 and Sandford. However, measures such as an enhanced soft landscape buffer along the A4074, recessive colours and plant screening in the form of vertical PV panels would reduce the prominence of the buildings and soften the potential impact;
· The proposal included closure of the existing construction access road to the north east corner of the site, which would be replanted as woodland. The submitted Tree Canopy Assessment stated an 8.2% net increase in tree canopy cover over 25 years, equating to 62% of the total site area;
· The proposal would also result in a biodiversity net gain of 5.95%, in accordance with Local Plan policy G2. This would be achieved by enhancing grassland in four off site locations within the ownership of the Science Park;
· To ensure the site became more sustainable, the applicant would be required to provide financial contributions towards bus services serving the Oxford Science Park, and towards active travel improvements in the local area such as additional pedestrian and cyclists’ crossings, new shared-use paths, and the upgrading of cycle routes;
· Officers considered that the proposed development - which would provide additional floor space for research and development purposes - would respond appropriately to the site context and Local Plan allocation, and would accord with the overall aims and objectives of the NPPF and policies within the Oxford Local Plan. The application was therefore recommended for approval, subject to the conditions and legal obligations set out within ... view the full minutes text for item 63.
Recommendation: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 24 January 2023 as a true and accurate record.
The Committee resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 24 January 2023 as a true and accurate record.
Items currently expected to be considered by the committee at future meetings are listed for information. This is not a definitive list and applications may be added or removed at any point. These are not for discussion at this meeting.
The Committee noted the list of forthcoming applications.
Dates of future meetings
Future meetings of the Committee are scheduled at 6.00pm on:
21 March 2023
18 April 2023
23 May 2023
20 June 2023
18 July 2023
15 August 2023
The Committee noted the dates of future meetings.
The Chair reminded Members that overspill meetings were likely to be needed in the next few months, due to the volume of major applications received.