22/00679/FUL: Headington Hill Campus, Oxford Brookes University, Headington Hill, Oxford OX3 0BT
- Meeting of Planning - Oxford City Planning Committee, Tuesday 21 June 2022 6.00 pm (Item 12.)
- View the declarations of interest for item 12.
- View the background to item 12.
Headington Hill Campus Oxford Brookes University, Headington Hill, Oxford OX3 0BT
Proposed Engineering Building (F1 Class) including landscape, services, cycle parking and associated works
Reason at Committee:
The proposal is a major development
The Oxford City Planning Committee is recommended to:
1. approve the application for the reasons given in the report and subject to the required planning conditions set out in section 12 of this report and grant planning permission.
2. agree to delegate authority to the Head of Planning Services to:
· finalise the recommended conditions and informatives as set out in this report including such refinements, amendments, additions and/or deletions as the Head of Planning Services considers reasonably necessary.
The Committee considered an application (22/00679/FUL) for a proposed engineering building (F1 Class) including landscape, services, cycle parking and associated works at Headington Hill Campus, Oxford Brookes University, Headington Hill, Oxford OX3 0BT.
The Planning Officer provided updates and presented the report and visualisations. The following was noted:
· A letter had been received from Headington Heritage, which had been circulated to committee members prior to the meeting, relating both to this application and application 21/03622/VAR which formed the next agenda item. The letter had raised concerns that the developments would compress and disrupt flows through the natural tufa springs flowing through Headington Hill Park due to the foundation design of the buildings. The letter also sought a full hydrological survey, monitoring of existing and future flows, and a ban on pile foundations within the construction. The letter also stated that it was unclear whether the SUDS proposals were sufficient.
· The Planning Officer responded that the Council’s specialist drainage and ecology officers had been consulted and had advised that any requirement to provide a hydrological survey would not be proportionate, given that the site was not adjacent to a local or nationally designated wildlife site. In response to concerns regarding flood risk, both sites had been subject to a drainage strategy which had been assessed as acceptable by Oxfordshire County Council as the local lead flood authority.
· A response from the applicant had also been circulated to committee members in advance of the meeting. This advised that foundations for the Yard Building would be 6.5m above the highest groundwater level recorded, and in the case of the replacement Helena Kennedy Building it would be 7.5m. The consultants had advised that in the case of the Engineering Building and the replacement Helena Kennedy building reinforced pad foundations would be used, and not deeper piled foundations. However, even were piled foundations to be used they would take up less than 2% of the area and would have negligible impact on groundwater flow.
· The Planning Officer also issued a correction to paragraph 10.66 of the report and confirmed that no new parking spaces would be created as part of the development. Therefore there would be no requirement to install EV charging points. The two spaces referred to were existing spaces which were being re-allocated as disabled parking bays.
· The proposal, by virtue of its visibility and presence in public views from Pullens Lane and Cuckoo Lane would result in less than substantial harm towards the setting of the Headington Hill conservation area. This was considered to be towards the lower level of less than substantial harm given the design quality of the building. Officers considered that this would be offset by the public benefits of the development, including the provision of high quality, purpose-built academic space which would not only benefit the University but also deliver wider economic benefits due to the research activities to be undertaken. It would also incorporate higher standards of sustainability; and would achieve a BREEAM excellent rating as well as a 40% reduction in carbon emissions, in accordance with Policy RE1 of the Oxford Local Plan. The scale and massing was considered to be appropriate and sensitive to the setting of the site and surrounding heritage assets.
Jerry Woods, Director of Estates and Campus Services at Oxford Brookes University and Glen Moses, architect, spoke in favour of the application.
The Committee asked questions of officers about the details of the application, and the following was noted:
· Reference to a new gateway at paragraph 10.28 of the report had been included in error. A new gateway was not included within the proposal;
· The proposal included a loss of 112 car parking bays, which was considered a benefit in terms of achieving a modal shift away from car use at the site. Controls existed in the streets surrounding the site to prevent overspill parking, and the proposed parking arrangements were fully consistent with the policies of the Local Plan. 108 cycle spaces were also included, which was also in line with Local Plan requirements.
In reaching its decision, the Committee considered all of the information put before it.
After debate and being proposed, seconded and put to the vote, the Committee agreed with the officer’s recommendation to approve the application subject to the conditions set out in the report and to delegate authority to the Head of Planning Services to finalise the recommended conditions and informatives.
The Oxford City Planning Committee resolved to:
1. approve the application for the reasons given in the report and subject to the required planning conditions set out in section 12 of the report and grant planning permission;
2. delegate authority to the Head of Planning Services to:
· Finalise the recommended conditions and informatives set out in the report including such refinements, amendments, additions and / or deletions as the Head of Planning Services considers reasonably necessary.
- 22-00679-FUL Oxford Brookes Engineering Building Headington Hill, item 12. PDF 575 KB
- Appendix 1 - Site Plan, item 12. PDF 568 KB
- Presentation, item 12. PDF 2 MB