Sites and Housing DPD Proposed Submission Document

Sites and Housing DPD Proposed Submission

SP14 - Diamond Place and Ewert House, Summertown

Diamond Place and Ewert House

Site area: 1.73 hectares/4.27 acres

Ward: St Margarets

Landowner: Mainly Oxford City Council and University of Oxford

Current use: Public car parks, academic, offices

Flood Zone: FZ1

This site comprises car parks, office and academic use. The University of Oxford intend to relocate the Examination Halls of Ewert House to an alternative site and the City Council are seeking to make better use of the car parks. The site is entirely within the designation of Summertown District Centre so a mix of town centre uses should be encouraged here. Development should not compromise the successful development of the adjacent Summertown strategic site (residential development). There is high potential for archaeological interest as the site is adjacent to cropmarks of likely prehistoric or Roman date.

  • The City and County Council are seeking to reduce the use of the private car within Oxford and a reduction in car parking would discourage car use although the car park is important to local traders and its total loss would be detrimental. The City Council has undertaken a review of its public car parks and considers that there is potential for development above the car park which will result in the loss of some car parking spaces across the site as a whole. Sufficient car parking spaces should be retained at a level at which the City Council considers is reasonable to serve the local area bearing in mind the quality of public transport to the area and the current level of usage of the car park. Supporting information justifying the proposed level of car parking spaces should accompany any application.
  • The retained car parking could be in a different form such as underground, decking or surface level with buildings above. Parking beneath ground is less likely to be appropriate here due to its potential impact on groundwater and any such proposal will need to assess its effect on groundwater. High quality design will be expected in order to deliver a safe parking environment with active frontages to ensure a sense of safety and vitality with easy and clear access to shops. Provision must be made for a temporary car park during construction.  


Planning permission will be granted for a retail-led mixed use development at Diamond Place and Ewert House which could include the following uses:

  • Residential;
  • Employment;
  • Student accommodation.

Other town centre uses may also be appropriate. Retail development should be on the ground floor. Sufficient car parking spaces should be retained at a level at which the City Council considers is reasonable to serve the local area and provision must be made for temporary car parking during construction. Cycle stands should be provided on site.

Pedestrian and cycle links through and to the site should be enhanced. Development should allow for a pedestrian and cycle links through the site from Summertown Strategic site to Banbury Road.