Agenda item

22/00962/FUL: Ruskin Hall, Dunstan Road, Oxford, OX3 9BZ

Site Address:

Ruskin Hall, Dunstan Road, Oxford

Proposal:

Demolition of the existing 24-bed student accommodation building (Bowen Building) and erection of 65-bed student accommodation building and erection of 30 bed student accommodation building with associated landscaping. (Amended Plans and Additional Information).

Reason at Committee:

The proposal is a major development.

Recommendation:

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 the report and grant planning permission; and

2.           agree to delegate authority to the Head of Planning Services to:

·         finalise the recommended conditions as set out in the report including such refinements, amendments, additions and/or deletions as the Head of Planning Services considers reasonably necessary; and

·         issue the planning permission.

 

Minutes:

The Committee considered an application (22/00962/FUL) for demolition of existing 24-bed student accommodation building (Bowen Building) and erection of 65 bed student accommodation building and erection of 30 bed student accommodation building with associated landscaping at Ruskin Hall, Dunstan Road, Oxford.

The Planning Officer gave a presentation and highlighted the following:

·        The scheme would provide 95 rooms, representing a net gain of 71 student rooms, on a site which was allocated for student accommodation.  The new accommodation would also be of a higher standard than that currently provided within the Bowen building.

 

·        The proposal followed a series of identical applications for the proposed new student blocks.  The principle of the development had therefore been previously established and accepted in principle.

 

·        A representation had been received subsequent to the publication of the report which had referred to part of the land to the north of the site being designated as peat.  The Planning Officer clarified that whilst this had been the case in the past, updated British Geological Survey mapping had changed this designation.  However, the applicant had nonetheless worked with officers and the Lead Local Flood Authority to move the attenuation tank out of that zone.  Officers were therefore satisfied that there would be no harm, and that the applicant had done as much as was necessary, with regard to sustainable drainage.

 

·        Correction was required to the percentage figures provided at paragraph 10.100 of the report in relation to carbon reduction, due to errors in the modelling.  However, the development was still policy compliant.  Block A would achieve carbon reduction of 41.3% against a 2021 Part L compliant baseline.  The figure for Block B was 54.4%.

 

·        There was considered to be a level of less than substantial harm in terms of reducing the glimpsed views of the crinkle crankle wall and the parkland setting to the listed building (The Rookery), and also to the character and appearance of the Old Headington Conservation Area by reducing the sense of a house within a parkland setting.  However, the public benefits of the scheme, including the provision of housing for students and meeting the College’s needs for their full-time students; increasing biodiversity; provision of sustainable buildings; and increasing tree canopy were considered to outweigh the harm that would be caused to the significance of heritage assets in this case.  Conditions had been included to prevent harm to the Sequoia tree, and further to original objections there was now policy compliant cycle parking.  Officers were also satisfied that there would be no harm caused by overlooking of the Rookery Villa.

David Ramsey (agent) spoke in favour of the application.

The Committee asked questions about the details of the application, which were responded to by officers.  The Committee’s discussions included, but were not limited to:

·        Parking of cars on the campus driveway and in Stoke Place was currently an issue for local residents.  Officers were requested to include wording within the conditions to the effect that parking should only be permitted within designated parking spaces.

 

·        The cycle route through the site included provision for cyclists to cycle down steps by way of a ramp.  Officers were requested to include wording relating to this within the conditions, requiring the applicant to reconsider that part of the route to make it accord with LTN1/20.

 

·        Committee members agreed that officers be authorised to progress these using delegated authority.

 

On being proposed, seconded and put to the vote the Committee agreed with the officer’s recommendation to approve the application for the reasons set out in the report and subject to the required planning conditions set out in the report.

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; and

 

2.    delegate authority to the Head of Planning Services to:

 

·          finalise the recommended conditions as set out in the report including such refinements, amendments, additions and/or deletions as the Head of Planning Services considers reasonably necessary; and

 

·          issue the planning permission.

Supporting documents: