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
Note: This meeting will be streamed live at: https://www.youtube.com/@oxfordcitycouncil when the meeting starts
Declarations of interest
Councillor Upton declared that as a member and trustee of the Oxford Preservation Trust she had taken no part in that organisation’s discussions regarding the applications before the Committee. Councillor Upton said that she was approaching the applications with an open mind, would listen to all the arguments and weigh up all the relevant facts before coming to a decision.
Councillor Malik declared that, as ward councillor, he had received several representations by email relating to the application. He had acknowledged receipt of these, but had not formed or expressed any opinion.
Councillor Railton declared that as one of the Council’s appointed representatives to the Shareholder and Joint Venture Group for the Oxford City Council wholly-owned housing company, which was the applicant, she would withdraw and leave the meeting room whilst the application was considered.
The Committee considered an application (22/03067/FUL) for the demolition of existing office building and erection of 1no. laboratory and office building for research and development (Use Class E); erection of gas store; provision of motor vehicle and cycle parking and landscaping at Trinity House, John Smith Drive, Oxford.
The Planning Officer provided the following updates and clarifications:
· Since publication of the committee report it had emerged that the CIL figure had been incorrectly calculated based on the incorrect Use Class E charge, rather than the development being liable for a CIL payment of £3,483,802. The revised CIL figure was £740,401.
· The 715 construction jobs stated in the committee report had been based on the economic statement which was submitted in December 2022. An updated statement had been provided which estimated that the scheme would actually deliver 475 jobs over the construction period.
· These updates had not impacted on officers’ recommendation to approve the application. This was because the economic benefits of the scheme, which comprised just one element of the public benefits, were still considered to outweigh the harm to heritage assets.
The Planning Officer gave a presentation and highlighted the following:
· The site comprised a rectangular parcel of lane at the junction of Garsington Road and John Smith Drive, located within the Oxford Business Park (now known as ‘ARC Oxford’). The built development currently on site comprised a three storey office building with surface parking extending over the majority of the site, interspersed with soft landscaping. Surrounding built form comprised two- and three- storey buildings in a range of employment uses, and two-storey residential dwellings which lay over 100 metres to the west of the site.
· The scheme proposed the demolition of the existing Trinity House building, and erection of a six storey building with a gross internal area of 20,409m2 and a gross external area of 25,448m2 in research and development use with CL2 and CL3 laboratories and offices.
· The proposed building would make more efficient use of the site, whilst responding to the surrounding smaller scale buildings, with its stepped elevations reducing the proposed massing. The ground floor was also set in from John Smith Drive by 13.5m, creating an area of public realm. The proposed new footpath at the corner of Garsington Road would enhance connectivity and legibility, which is currently lacking within the Park. The perimeter landscaping would be retained and enhanced.
· The building is one of the first Life Sciences buildings to come forward on the Business Park and represented a new typology, in line with the Local Plan ambitions for the Park to achieve a step change in the type, scale and quality of development coming forward. It was considered that its distinctive design clearly responded to the site’s corner plot position, and would act as a gateway to the Park.
· 130 staff car parking spaces were proposed on the basement plan, with 3 additional external visitors’ spaces. This represented a reduction in the existing provision. However, the transport assessment had ... view the full minutes text for item 11.
The Committee considered an application (22/01554/FUL) for closure of the vehicular access from Westlands Drive to Elizabeth Place and erection of a three storey building to create 15no residential units (amended plans).
Councillor Railton left the meeting room for this item and did not participate in determining the application or return to the meeting afterwards.
The Planning Officer gave a presentation and highlighted the following:
· The application site lay at the centre of Northway and included an area of public open space with landscaping, trees, amenity grass areas, access paths, and an area containing recycling bins. The development included Elizabeth Place, which was a road which was open to vehicles and provided a secondary route from Westlands Drive to Gorse Leas.
· To the south west of the site was a row of shops with two storey maisonettes located above. To the south of the site was a row of garages, which were owned by the City Council and rented out. Housing to the north and east of the site comprised two storey houses, with the Plowman tower block to the north-west. There was a large area of open recreation space to the west of the site, on the opposite side of Westlands Drive.
· The proposal involved the development of 15 homes consisting of 8 houses and 7 apartments within a single L shaped building. The building would be sited partly on Elizabeth Place and partly on the adjoining area of public open space: the north-western side of the building would face Westlands Drive; the houses would face the retained area of public open space to the north-east; and the gardens of the houses would face the retained section of road.
· The houses would be 100% affordable, consisting of 6 socially rented units, 5 affordable rented units and 4 shared ownership homes. The proposal included the partial closure (stopping up) of Elizabeth Place which would cease to function as a through route for vehicles between Westlands Drive and Gorse Leas. Vehicle access would be retained to serve two disabled parking spaces which were proposed on site and access to the retained garages.
· Two routes for pedestrians would be provided: one to the south-west of the building adjoining the maisonettes, and one to the north of the proposed houses. The route to the north would be a 3m wide segregated pedestrian and cycle route.
· With the exception of the disabled parking spaces, it was proposed that the houses would not be provided with dedicated parking. The site was in a sustainable location in terms of access to local shops and facilities. The bus service to Northway had recently been reduced in terms of frequency and was now a half-hourly service: it was considered that the site was in a location where occupiers would not be dependent on access to a private car. The site was in a controlled parking zone, and the Highways Authority had concluded that any displacement of vehicles or overspill parking would not have a severe impact on the ... view the full minutes text for item 12.
Recommendation: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 23 May 2023 as a true and accurate record.
The Committee resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 23 May 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:
18 July 2023
15 August 2023
19 September 2023
17 October 2023
21 November 2023
12 December 2023
The Committee noted the dates of future meetings.