Works updates

We’re developing campuses for the future. Where possible we keep disruptive work to times that limit the impact on local residents, staff and students. With the size of some of the works we are doing this is not always possible. Keep up-to-date with current works and route changes on all our campuses.

Redevelopment of Clive Booth Student Village (May/June 2022 update)

Oxford Brookes received planning permission in November 2021 for the redevelopment of Clive Booth Student Village.

The project will provide an increased number of high-quality rooms within the University’s estate. This will help to reduce the number of students living in private rented accommodation and support efforts to manage local housing demand.

The construction work will be undertaken on behalf of the University by Morgan Sindall, who are registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme. Safety is of the utmost importance and both Oxford Brookes and Morgan Sindall will ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum while work is undertaken. 

Ongoing work:

  • The enabling works to prepare for the redevelopment will continue until approximately July 2022, with core working from Monday to Friday throughout this period. 

  • The site hours will be between 7.30am and 6.00pm. Any work on Saturdays will be limited to the hours of 7.30am to 1.00pm, with afternoon working on Saturday by exception. 

  • During May 2022, the hoarding contractor has been erecting a barrier system called Green Hoard around the site perimeter. This is an environmentally friendly system that is re-usable and easily adaptable to move where needed. This also reduces the carbon footprint as it is made of recycled plastic instead of the traditional timber and plywood system. 

  • The main demolition works of buildings to be removed during the first phase of the site’s redevelopment is taking place from May 2022. This will involve careful dismantling and the recycling of materials.

  • The furniture, fixtures and fittings from the old student blocks have been removed and mechanical demolition has commenced. The old Steel House building has been completely taken down and Block G in the centre of site has started to be dismantled. All the brick and block waste will be reused on site to form the hardcore piling mat when the piling phase starts. 

  • Further detail on the demolition of buildings over the coming period can be found in May 2022 newsletter link below.

  • A traffic management plan is being implemented to ensure safety for all road and pavement users. Vehicular access along John Garne Way will not be affected.

Newsletter:

A more detailed newsletter produced by Morgan Sindall, which includes the contractor's contact details, will be made available on this webpage via the links below:

Find out more in person:

From May 2022 Morgan Sindall, in collaboration with Oxford Brookes, began hosting drop-in information sessions on the first Monday of every month. 

These sessions allow for individuals or groups to hear about the latest developments and ask questions and take place at the Morgan Sindall Site Office located within the previous Morals Bar on the Clive Booth Student Village site.

The next drop-in session will be taking place on Monday 20 June (2.00pm to 4.00pm) - anyone is welcome to attend.

Geo-Exchange System for the Gipsy Lane site (May 2022 update)

About the project: 

Oxford Brookes is to introduce a Geo-Exchange Heating and Cooling System which will displace the use of fossil fuels. It is estimated that the introduction of the new system will help to reduce carbon emissions from the University’s Gipsy Lane site by approximately 20%. Further information on the project can be found on the University's newspages.

The system will consist of a heat pump to be installed within a pre-existing interior plant room, or energy centre. It will also involve an innovative new approach to carbon reduction utilising boreholes and inter-connecting flowlines that will be capped at the surface, with manhole covers.

The number of boreholes required is fourteen, with a depth of approximately 220m. The drilling diameter for each borehole will be approximately 15-20cm. The boreholes will be located on the University’s access road parallel with Gipsy Lane next to the Sir Kenneth Wheare Hall building. The manhole covers will be a standard size, visible only at ground level, with access for maintenance and servicing.

  • Physical work began on Monday 20 December 2021, with external works proposed to be completed in June 2022. The work is being undertaken by Black Mountain Developments on behalf of the University. 

  • We anticipate that core work will take place between the hours of 7.30am and 6.30pm, Monday to Friday. There may occasionally be a need to work on Saturdays which would take place between 8am and 2pm.
  • We do expect there to be intermittent noise during the work but as part of assessments undertaken for the planning application, we have been assured that disruption to those living or working near to the site will be minimal. This is primarily due to the specialist equipment being used and mitigation measures we are taking such as the site hoardings which will help to reduce any noise impact.
  • A traffic management plan has also been produced to ensure safety for all road and pavement users. Staff based on site will be on hand to minimise traffic disruption as vehicles enter and leave the site. The current BROOKESbus on the access road parallel with Gipsy Lane will be moved to a temporary bus stop on Gipsy Lane itself while this work is taking place.

May 2022 water discharge update

Further to the statement we published last month (see below), additional investigation work took place on Monday 9 May following reports of further discoloured water in Boundary Brook on Saturday 7 May.

As a result of this investigation, and further discussions with the Environment Agency (EA), the EA have confirmed they are content for work to continue on the University’s geo-exchange project, and that the most recent measures put in place are appropriate in mitigating against potential discolouration resulting from the drilling work.

As noted during previous investigations, when drilling work has paused further instances of water discolouration in the brook have still been witnessed. The latest incidents of discolouration are therefore thought to be the result of general surface water run-off, which will include sites unrelated to activity taking place at Oxford Brookes.

The EA have therefore written to other construction sites in the area asking them to undertake checks and, where required, put in measures similar to the mitigations now in place for the geo-exchange project.

The University and its contractors will continue to monitor its activities to ensure it is not the cause of any further discolouration of Boundary Brook. Any members of the public who have concerns should contact the EA directly via their 24-hour phone line on 0800 80 70 60.

April 2022 water discharge statement

On Monday 28 March, Oxford Brookes became aware of a potential incident of discoloured water in Boundary Brook.

As with a previous occurrence in late February, this latest incident related to a geo exchange construction project at our Headington Campus.

Work ceased while our principal contractor immediately contacted the Environment Agency (EA) and further on-site investigations took place. This investigatory work found that measures our contractor previously put in place did not entirely solve the issue.

Additional mitigations have now been put in place to address this and the EA has confirmed that they are content with this approach.

It is important to note that the mud in this water is the natural blue clay found in Headington. As with the incident in February, no chemicals were involved. 

However, this situation is not acceptable and we are deeply sorry.

Further information:

Although the actions undertaken in February helped to mitigate against the previous cause of discolouration, this second incident was a result of a newly identified issue whereby a small volume of water was entering a surface chamber on site.

As part of the mitigation plan, a new physical barrier has been introduced below ground on Oxford Brookes’ site to prevent a further recurrence of this issue.

During the course of this investigation, while drilling work was paused, further instances of water discolouration in the brook were noted.

We have therefore informed the EA that there are likely to be additional causes of discolouration of the brook which are unrelated to activity taking place at Oxford Brookes.

The University will continue to engage with the EA throughout the construction project, but any members of the public who have concerns should contact the EA directly via their 24-hour phone line on 0800 80 70 60.