Northern Gateway Area Action Plan Options Consultation

Summary of Responses

1

Vision

The Options Document sets out the vision for the Northern Gateway, as follows:

In 2030, the Northern Gateway has become a vibrant and successful extension to Oxford.  It is a flourishing community for knowledge-based industries.  Co-location of new and growing businesses, close links to the universities and hospitals, and a high quality living environment have helped foster a creative atmosphere where innovation thrives.  

Attractive new buildings, streets and open spaces add to its strong local character, making it a distinctive part of the city. The emphasis on quality and sustainability has made it an example for other new communities in the 21st century. 

Modern new homes with access to community facilities and open spaces have also made this a desirable place to live.  The mix of housing has helped to encourage a balance of residents, with young and old, families and singles living together.  New amenities provide a focus for the community, providing a range of facilities and services for local people.  The complements the facilities available for neighbouring areas for the benefit of the wider community. 

The Northern Gateway development has helped to deliver key improvements to the local transport network and enabled the securing of funds to provide wider transport improvements to the strategic road network.  On foot, bicycle and public transport, the area is now well connected with surrounding communities and the city centre, linking places of work and homes.  Pedestrian routes linking open spaces and community facilities are safe and easy to use. 

Do you agree with the vision for the Northern Gateway?  Is there anything you wish to add?  Do you have any other comments?

This question has been answered 147 times.

2

Objectives

The Options Document sets out the following Objectives for the Area Action Plan: 

Objective 1 - Strengthen Oxford's Knowledge-based economy

Providing additional floor space related to Oxford's key strengths in science and technology; research and development; and/ or non-teaching university development, will strengthen the city's economy and help deliver a nationally important "knowledge economy spine" for Oxfordshire.

Objective 2 - Provide more housing

The project provides the opportunity to deliver additional housing including affordable housing to help address the need in Oxford.  The housing will need to be designed in a way that provides an attractive living environment and supports a strong community feel with access to the necessary amenities 

Objective 3 - Improve the local and strategic road network

The site is adjacent to three strategic roads and the area already experiences congestion.  Development of the site will help to facilitate a package of improvements to the local and strategic road network whilst also ensuring that the impact of development is mitigated.  It will be important to integrate the development with the rest of the city, particularly with good pedestrian, cycle and bus links. 

Objective 4 - Respond to the context of the natural and historic environment

It is important to consider the context of the development in terms of the natural and historic assets of the site and locality.  New development should respond positively to its surroundings. 

Objective 5 - Create a gateway to Oxford

The site is at a strategically important position at the northern entrance to the city and offers the opportunity to create a high-quality gateway.  Careful attention to the urban design of the site and the architectural design of the individual buildings will be important to help create a positive and distinctive sense of place. 

Objective 6 - Encourage a low-carbon lifestyle/ economy

This development will be planned with the future in mind.  It will be important to include features which will encourage new residents and businesses to adopt a "low-carbon" lifestyle.  The development should encourage use of sustainable modes of travel and energy efficiency measures and renewable energy.

Are these the right objectives?  Is there anything we have missed?  Do you have any other comments?

This question has been answered 144 times.

3

Type of Employment

We think that the the type of employment at the Northern Gateway should be directly related to the knowledge economy of Oxford (science and technology research; bio-technology; and spin-off companies associated with the universities and hospitals). What do you think? 

Option Results Count
PO: Ensure all employment is related to the knowledge economy of Oxford
41%
AO: Ensure that a proportion (e.g. 85%) of the employment is related to the knowledge economy of Oxford
59%

4

Primary Mix

It is important to get the right balance of primary uses (i.e. employment and housing) on the site.  We think that the focus should be on employment with a good levels of housing provision. What do you think? 

Option Results Count
PO: Maintain an employment focus for the site whilst achieving good levels of housing provision
46%
AO1: Reduce focus on employment uses and increase the levels of housing provision
34%
AO2: Reduce provision of housing and maximise development of employment uses
19%

5

Scale of Employment Uses

The primary of focus of the site is to provide significant levels of employment generating uses.  We think that there should be no upper limit on the level of employment but that design and transport constraints should determine the appropriate level.  What do you think?

Option Results Count
PO: Place no upper limit on the quantum of employment development but leave it to design (and transport) constraints to determine the appropriate level
43%
AO1: Provide up to 90,000 sq.m of employment development (based on the Core Strategy indication and an additional 10,000 sq.m as alternative to emergency services centre)
5%
AO2: Provide up to 80,000 sq.m of employment development (based on that indicated in the Core Strategy)
8%
AO3: Provide up to 55,000 sq.m of employment development (based on the Core Strategy allocation up to 2026 but without the indicated development beyond that)
44%

6

Scale of Residential Uses 

Oxford's need for more housing is well-established and documented.  We think that there could be scope for up to 500 homes at the Northern Gateway without compromising the employment focus. What do you think?

Option Results Count
PO: Mid-sized residential development (e.g. up to 500 homes)
33%
AO1: A smaller residential development (e.g. up to 200 homes)
49%
AO2: A larger residential development (e.g. up to 800 homes)
18%

7

Retail 

Some retail development would help make the development more sustainable and add vitality to the site.  We think that there should be a small retail offer with units of an appropriate local scale. What do you think? 

Option Results Count
PO: Provide small retail units of an appropriate local scale (e.g. up to 2,500 sq.m gross floorspace)
70%
AO1: Remove the retail uses to facilitate more development of the primary uses
13%
AO2: Provide for a mid-sized supermarket (e.g. around 4,000 sq.m gross floorspace)
2%
AO3: Provide for a mid-sized supermarket (e.g. around 4,000 sq.m gross floorspace) and some smaller retail units (e.g. up to 2,500 sq.m gross floorspace)
15%

8

Hotel with leisure uses

We think that a hotel with leisure uses could be provided on the site as this could offer more services and facilities and add to vitality.  What do you think? 

Option Results Count
PO: Provide for a hotel on the site (e.g. up to 180 bedrooms) with associated leisure facilities (e.g. restaurant and gym)
47%
AO: Remove the hotel to facilitate more development of primary uses
53%

9

Emergency Services Centre

One of the other potential supporting uses listed in the Core Strategy is a joint emergency services centre.  We think that the emergency services centre could be removed to facilitate more development of the primary uses.  What do you think? 

Option Results Count
PO: Remove the emergency services centre to facilitate more development of primary uses
53%
AO: Provide for an emergency services centre on the site (e.g. up to 10,000 sq.m). Make policy provision for this allocation to revert to employment use if not delivered by a particular phase of the development
48%

10

Services Area

We think that refurbishment of the services area at the Pear Tree Interchange should be encouraged to further enhance the entrance to the city.  Do you agree with this approach? 

Option Results Count
Yes
85%
No
15%

11

Affordable Housing

We think that we should use existing city planning policies that require at least 50% of homes to be affordable.  Is this the right approach? 

Option Results Count
Yes
72%
No
28%

12

Dwelling Sizes

We think that the mix of housing should reflect that set out in the Balance of Dwellings Supplementary Planning Document:

1 bedroom homes: 10-15%

2 bedroom homes: 25-30%

3 bedroom homes: 40-55%

4+ bedroom homes: 10-15%

What do you think? 

Option Results Count
PO: Use the existing policy approach (as set out in the Balance of Dwellings SPD)
59%
AO1: Increase the proportion of smaller (1 and 2 bedroom) homes
20%
AO2: Increase the proportion of larger (3 and 4+ bedroom) homes
21%

13

Travel Planning

We think that a Transport Assessment and Travel Plan should be required as part of any planning application to demonstrate how the development will contribute to sustainable travel and the mitigation of any significant traffic impacts if the Transport Assessment shows this to be necessary.  

Do you agree with this approach?

Option Results Count
Yes
95%
No
5%

14

Public Transport 

Two options based around a suite of measures are proposed.  The table below shows the measures proposed and which option they are proposed under. 

Proposal     

Preferred Option 

(full transport solution, subject to funding) 

    

Alternative Option

(mitigates impact of development)    

Provision of enhanced bus services along A40 and A44 corridors, with connection to Oxford Parkway railway station 

Tick

Tick 
Provide interchange facility/ bus hub potentially in combination with Park and Ride improvements      Tick cross
Provide new bus stops/ lay-bys and covered waiting facilities with Real Time Passenger Information (along the A40 and A44)      Tick Tick
Widen and/ or re-allocate road space along the A40 fronting the site to provide priority for buses      Tick Tick
Widen and/ or re-allocate road space along the A44 fronting the site to provide priority for buses     Tick Tick
Provide for further selected busy priority measures at junctions with pre-signals     Tick cross
Provide bus priority measures northbound on Woodstock Road to Wolvercote roundabout     Tick cross

 

Option Results Count
PO: Full Transport Solution, subject to funding
78%
AO: Mitigate impact of development
22%

15

Pedestrian and Cycle Links 

We think that provision of the following measures would encourage walking and cycling at the development. 

  • High-quality, convenient cycle/ footpath routes to nearby residential areas and into the services area
  • Improved and additional crossings of the A40 and A44 (either at surface level of grade-separated) to link development areas 
  • Good quality, convenient routes within the development site and alongside the A40/ A44

In addition, the following measure could be provided: 

  • A high quality convenient cycle/ footpath link to the new Oxford Parkway Railway Station

What do you think? 

Option Results Count
PO: All measures and additional link to Oxford Parkway Railway Station
94%
AO: All measures excluding link to railway station
6%

16

Access and Highways

Two options based around a suite of transport measures are proposed for the Northern Gateway.  We prefer the full transport solution (subject to funding).  What do you think? 

Proposal    

Preferred Option 

(full transport solution, subject to funding)    

Alternative Option

(mitigates impact of development)     

Cutteslowe roundabout improvements      Tick Tick
Wolvercote roundabout improvements Tick Tick
Full signalisation of Pear Tree roundabout Tick cross
Partial signalisation of Pear Tree roundabout cross Tick
Construction of off-site strategic link road between the A40 and A44 (Loop Farm roundabout)  Tick cross
Construction of dual-carriageway on-site link road and site access road signal controlled junctions to A40 and A44  cross Tick
Construction of single-carriageway on-site link road with signal controlled junctions to A40 and A44 Tick cross
Secondary site access from A40 and A44 Tick cross
Public realm and environmental improvements to A40 and A44 Tick cross

 

Option Results Count
PO: Full transport solution (subject to funding)
87%
AO: Mitigate impact of development
13%

17

Park and Ride Capacity

We think that the spaces in the surface level Park and Ride site could be replaced with a multi-storey which could increase the number of spaces whilst also reducing the land take.  What do you think? 

Option Results Count
PO: Provide a multi-storey Park and Ride site with around 500 additional spaces
39%
AO1: Extend the Park and Ride at surface level with around 500 additional spaces
10%
AO2: Extend the Park and Ride further, with around 750 additional spaces in a multi-storey
27%
AO3: Extend the Park and Ride further with around 750 additional spaces at surface level
8%
AO4: Maintain the existing level of parking provided (around 1,050 spaces)
15%

18

Park and Ride Location 

We think that the Park and Ride facilities should stay at their current location.  What do you think? 

Option Results Count
PO: Retain the Park and Ride facilities at the current location
88%
AO: Relocate the existing Park and Ride within the site (to opposite side of A44)
13%

19

Operation of Car Parking 

We are considering how car parking could work on the site. Which of these options do you think would work well? (You can choose more than one) 

(Note: these options are not necessarily mutually exclusive; the final choice of management approach may take the form of a combination of these options).

Option Results Count
O1: Provide workplace parking in shared communal facilities for efficiency
54%
O2: Encourage charging for workplace parking across the site
28%
O3: Introduce a Controlled Parking Zone within the site and in neighbouring residential areas
53%

20

Parking Standards

We think that compared to the standard policy approach, there should be more restrictive parking standards for the employment and retail uses (as these are destinations for car trips) but not on residential parking where we could use existing city-wide standards (to reflect car ownership).  See the appendix of the Options Document for details of existing standards.

What do you think? 

Option Results Count
PO: Be more restrictive on parking for employment, and use existing residential parking standards
50%
AO1: Tighten up parking standards for all uses
19%
AO2: Use existing city-wide parking standards
31%

21

Design Code

We think that a design code should be produced that will set out the broad parameters for the urban design and layout, related to the different uses proposed. 

Do you agree with this approach? 

Option Results Count
Yes
89%
No
11%

22

Scale and Massing

We are considering how best to address the scale and massing of buildings on the site. We could permit taller buildings (especially at particular locations) to provide the required development and maintain larger areas of open space/landscaping.  Alternatively we could restrict building heights acknowledging that more of the site would need to be built out to provide the required development. 

What do you think?

 

Option Results Count
O1: Permit taller buildings and maintain larger areas of open space
49%
O2: Restrict building heights and develop more of the site
51%

23

Landscape and Open Space - Employment

We think that usable and good quality open space should be provided around the employment buildings.

Do you agree with this approach? 

Option Results Count
Yes
94%
No
6%

24

Landscape and Open Space - Residential

We are considering how much open space to provide as part of the residential development.  We could use the city-wide standard of providing at least 10% of the site area that is developed for housing as public open space. Alternatively we could make provision for a greater proportion of the residential site area to be provided as open space (e.g. 15%)

What do you think? 

Option Results Count
O1: Use city-wide standard of providing at least 10% of the site area that is developed for housing as open space
24%
O2: Make provision for a greater proportion of residential site area as open space (e.g. 15%)
76%

25

Gateway

The Northern Gateway site is at a strategically important location at the northern edge of the city.  We think that the there is an opportunity to create a high-quality gateway with landmark buildings (at particular locations) within the development and to frame views to help create a gateway feel.

What do you think? 

Option Results Count
PO: Provide opportunities for landmark buildings (at particular locations) within the development and frame views to help create a gateway feel
55%
AO: Do not pursue the gateway concept for the development
45%

26

Green Belt

At the Core Strategy examination, the Inspector considered that it would be appropriate to carry out a "highly focussed inner Green Belt boundary review... to consider whether exceptional circumstances exist to justify the release of Green Belt land". 

We intend to carry out a highly focussed review of the inner Green Belt boundary to identify whether exceptional circumstances exist to justify removing those portions within the AAP boundary from the Green Belt.

Do you agree with this approach? 

Option Results Count
Yes
44%
No
56%

27

Green Belt South of the A40

The larger of the two portions of Green Belt within the AAP boundary is the section to the south of the A40. 

Note: Maps of options for the Green Belt boundary can be found in the Options Document.  

What do you think?

Option Results Count
O1: Move the inner Green Belt boundary back to the track that runs along the AAP boundary (Joe White's Lane), so that there is no Green Belt to the east of the track but that the fields designated as a Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation and Public Open Space (Goose Green) are maintained within the Green Belt
18%
O2: Move the inner Green Belt boundary back to the canal corridor so that there is no Green Belt to the east of the canal (although other designations would be retained; note: if this option is taken forward the AAP boundary would be amended to include this area)
10%
O3: Maintain the inner Green Belt boundary at the current position so that this area continues to be within the Green Belt
72%

28

Green Belt at Pear Tree Farm

The second, smaller area of Green Belt within the AAP boundary is at Pear Tree Farm; only part of which lies within the city's administrative area.  

Note:  The Options Document contains maps to show the options for the Green Belt boundary.

What do you think?

Option Results Count
O1: Maintain the inner Green Belt boundary at the current position so that Pear Tree Farm continues to be within the Green Belt
83%
O2: Move the inner Green Belt boundary back to the administrative boundary of the City Council so that, that part of Pear Tree Farm is no longer within the Green Belt
17%

29

Drainage

We think that development should only be permitted at the Northern Gateway where it has been shown: 

  • That it will not result in changes to the hydrological regime of the Oxford Meadows Special Area of Conservation; and 
  • Where it has been shown through a Flood Risk Assessment that it will not increase flood risk either on the site or elsewhere

Do you agree with this approach? 

Option Results Count
Yes
97%
No
3%

30

Energy and Natural Resources 

We think that we should:

  • Use existing planning policies for energy and resource efficiency and require buildings to meet the current standards of energy efficiency and renewable energy in place at the time of the reserved matters applications; and 
  • Support the development of a shared/district renewable/low-carbon energy scheme within the site

Do you agree with this approach? 

Option Results Count
Yes
84%
No
16%

31

Air Quality and Noise

We think that we should: 

  • Only permit residential development where it can be shown that future residents will benefit from a good quality living environment both in terms of noise and air quality; and 
  • Only permit development that is not likely to have an adverse impact on the integrity of the Oxford Meadows Special Area of Conservation 

Do you agree with this approach? 

Option Results Count
Yes
97%
No
3%