Community views welcomed on student village redevelopment

Community views welcomed on student village redevelopment

Oxford Brookes University is welcoming views from the local community in advance of submitting a new planning application for the partial redevelopment of the Clive Booth Student Village, sited close to Marston Road in East Oxford.

The first opportunity to feed back on the plans opens on Monday 23 November, and local residents are encouraged to provide their views via an online form. There will be further opportunities to give feedback and input as the plans are developed, before the University submits its planning application in March 2021.

Feedback welcomed on new application

There is a need to modernise accommodation at the Clive Booth Student Village to ensure living arrangements continue to be high quality, and to meet the requirements of students today and in the future. Located on land owned by Oxford Brookes, the site is managed by the University and is currently home to around 1,300 students. This includes students who are training to be nurses, paramedics, allied healthcare professionals and teachers, many of whom will work across the county after graduating.

Brendan Casey, Registrar and Chief Operating Officer of Oxford Brookes University, said: “The University is committed to providing high-quality student accommodation and easing pressure on local housing supply in Oxford. We’ve taken time to carefully review the concerns that were raised in our previous planning application, and have revised our proposals to address these. We are now actively seeking input from local communities at this early stage to help shape our new plans.”

Although student numbers at Oxford Brookes have remained static over a number of years, more students are undergraduate, full-time, and joining from outside the county - which has driven an increase for demand in accommodation in Oxford. The proposed redevelopment will bring a larger proportion of students into University-managed accommodation and help ensure Oxford Brookes meets the council threshold for the number of students living in local private accommodation.

Benefits for students and the community

The partial redevelopment of the Clive Booth Student Village will bring a number of benefits to both students and local communities:

  • The University is proposing to remove 11 existing blocks and build 12 improved, modern accommodation blocks, housing students close to its Headington Campus and alleviating pressure on private rental properties in the local area.
  • The proximity to the Headington Campus encourages more students to walk or cycle, easing pressure on local bus services.
  • High-quality rooms, improved indoor social spaces and a range of accommodation options will bring a positive student experience, and suit affordability and personal living preferences.
  • Students living in halls of residence are not permitted to bring a vehicle to Oxford, so it is anticipated that this redevelopment will help reduce the number of cars in the city.
  • Improved facilities for Oxford Brookes University Nursery, also located on the site, which provides care for the children of students, staff and the local community.

Revised proposals

Over the past 18 months, the University has carefully revised its proposed plans for the site to help address concerns raised previously by the local community.

The changes include:

  • Decreased height in accommodation blocks to open up local views.
  • Re-aligning buildings to improve natural light, enhancing tree planting and public walking routes.
  • Improved landscaping across the site and within the wider woodland setting.
  • Removing the existing nursery building and replacing this with a purpose-built modern facility for use by children of students, staff and the local community.
  • Improved thermal performance of the buildings to meet more stringent carbon reduction targets.

Feedback process now open

The University is now keen to engage with the local community to gain feedback on the proposal, which will inform the new plans in development. As well as information leaflets being distributed to local residents, dedicated Estates development web pages have been created to provide further details. In line with COVID-19 restrictions, virtual information events are taking place at 6pm on Wednesday 2 December and 6pm on Wednesday 9 December where there will be an opportunity to ask questions - please visit the website to register.

Oxford Brookes is inviting initial feedback on its proposed partial redevelopment of the Clive Booth site between Monday 23 November and Friday 11 December. This can be completed via an online form, or a paper survey - contact or call 01865 484451 to arrange delivery.

More details on the proposed application will be provided in January 2021 as plans are developed, taking account of local feedback. There will be a further opportunity to provide feedback in January and February before the University submits its planning application in March 2021.

If the application is successful, the University hopes that the first students will be living in the redeveloped Clive Booth Student Village accommodation for the start of the 2023/24 academic year. Details for when proposed building work would begin after the 2020/21 academic year will be communicated in due course as plans for the project continue to be developed.

Visit the Clive Booth page for further information and to access the feedback form.