A victory for small developments in Oxford

Development of new homes within Oxford has long been vexed. Opposition from residents and counter-productive policies from the City Council have severely inhibited building, particularly on smaller sites within the City bounds – of which there are many.

After several years of intransigence, Oxford City Council has abandoned its unhelpful policy on smaller sites – HP4. Within weeks applications stuck in a logjam have been approved. The West Area Planning Committee approved our plans for building 7 flats on a site in North Oxford. Councillors described it as an outstanding design, with good focus on environmental impact and applauding the use of the site to create a greater number of homes than has been the pattern until now. This should open up possibilities for building on sites within the city boundaries and promote sites being used for greater density housing rather than large family houses which will help improve return on investment and also housing opportunity for those renting or looking to get onto the property ladder.

Using a striking contemporary design by award-winning Adrian James Architects, 327 Woodstock Road will include two 126sq. m. 3-bed flats with large private gardens – in line with the Council’s policy to encourage more family accommodation; has a strong environmental focus with low-carbon features including 2 car-free units given the proximity to Summertown, and electric charging points for each parking space for the other 5 flats; and will include ecological enhancements to encourage wild-life.

An affordable housing contribution was offered but declined by the Council, as it amended its policy on affordable homes during the application. We will nonetheless continue with our policy of offering a proportion of our portfolio for rent on an affordable basis.

If you are a landlord or developer investing in property or looking to make the most out of your plots, we would love to consult with you and offer our advice. We have experience in planning applications within the Oxford area, whether it be for large projects, a single dwelling or an extension to the current house. If you would like to set up a meeting, please get in touch