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Osney Mead site must focus on housing

Wednesday, 27 July 2016 07:56

Osney Mead site must focus on housing

CPRE believes this central Oxford brownfield site must prioritise housing over more job creation.

Consultation extended until 29 July.

Oxford University is currently preparing a masterplan for the regeneration of the whole of the Osney Mead Industrial site in the centre of Oxford. 

It is seeking views of local residents and stakeholders and has received such strong interest that the deadline for responses has been extended from 22 July to Friday 29 July.

The masterplan aims to "provide increased opportunities for employment, homes and supporting uses, and better pedestrian and cycle connections to the City centre and surrounding areas. It envisages a transformation of Osney Mead into a pleasant waterside place, with new publicly accessible outdoor spaces and improved landscape, and reduced risk of flooding."

You can find out more and respond to the consultation via the University website here.

CPRE Oxford's view - Priority should be given to housing

As a centrally located brownfield site, CPRE very much supports the proposed regeneration of this site to make more efficient use of the land.  However, Oxford City is lucky to benefit from virtually full employment.  The priority therefore should be given to housing to avoid making the jobs v housing balance worse.   We welcome the University’s intention to create housing on the site, but believe that this is being placed well below the emphasis on job creation.  We note, for example, that no estimates as to the number of houses is actually provided on the consultation boards.  

To avoid further deterioration in the jobs/housing balance, based on 4,000 jobs at an average household occupancy of 2.5 people per household, one would need to allow for 1,600 houses just to accommodate the proposed number of employees, without taking into account any partners/families. 

The University is among the loudest voices in calling for more housing in the City, which it says is needed to meet the needs of its students and staff.  It needs to carry this through into its own policies. 

We also think it is important that the University makes it clear at what density they will seek to develop the site.

Assuming that flood risks can be mitigated, this appears an ideal site for high density housing development to maximise land-use.   CPRE Oxfordshire's approach is that each site should be addressed on its own merit but that a yardstick of 70 houses per hectare (comparable with Victorian terraced housing) is a useful starting point.   See:


If you have views on this issue, please do get in touch: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  



CPRE Oxfordshire

July 2016



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