Northern Gateway opens new ‘green’ planning era

Bob Price

Bob Price

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Health reporter, also covering Kidlington. Call me on 01865 425271

FUTURE developments in Oxford could be turned down if they do not include enough green measures, the leader of the city council has said.

Councillor Bob Price made the comments following the publication of the first plan of the Northern Gateway scheme, which is set to feature a mix of businesses and up to 500 homes.

The site would be developed in a triangular-shaped area on land bordered by the A40, A44 and the A34, at Pear Tree.

Following its approval by the executive board last night, Town Hall officials hope the development could be the first in a new generation that focus more on environmentally-friendly measures.

And the design section of the action plan shows green roofs and solar-powered hot water collectors that are being encouraged as features to be included in new buildings.

Mr Price said: “The Northern Gateway is going to be an entry point into Oxford and we want it to reflect the city’s values.

“Anything we build now is still likely to be here in 100 years and the carbon footprints of developments will become increasingly important.”

The council’s document will become part of Oxford’s Local Plan, Mr Price said, which dictates how certain areas can be developed.

He added: “We don’t want developers to think they can get away with doing something cheap and cheerful.

“It is feasible that if something comes forward that did not include enough of measures we would turn it down. I would take the lead on that.”

Measures proposed include “balancing ponds”to drain surface water flooding, as well as green roofs – where gardens are created on roofs of buildings – to reduce air pollution and also help with cooling.

South-facing solar panels and glazed building facades also feature in designs, in a bid to reduce energy usage.

In addition to trying to make the development environmentally friendly, Mr Price said the council also wanted to set up character areas.

They will be named Peartree, Blindwell, Cowhill and Upper Wolvercote. Cowhill is intended to be the main centre of employment, centred around a hub that would include education and business establishments, as well as entertainment services.

Planners also want a number of features to be included to encourage walking and cycling. Two pedstrian crossings are also to be added to the A40 and A44 approaches to Wolvercote Roundabout.

Oxford Civic Society chairman Peter Thompson welcomed the plans and said: “It is all a step in the right direction, because it is addressing issues that are going to be critical in 20 to 30 years.

“What we have now got to see is something that does more than just pay lip service to these ideas.”

The council said the approved document would go to consultation at the end of the month.

What else is in the pipeline?

During the meeting the council also agreed to:

Contribute funding towards work set to commence on Frideswide Square this autumn in two phases of £350,000 each. The first payment is to be made in the Autumn and the second in spring 2015.

Establish a budget of £320,000 to continue work towards the redevelopment of Oxpens. The council hopes to appoint a developer as a partner in May 2015.

Expand the budget for the refurbishment of the city’s tower blocks by £1.7m, announced earlier this year.
It follows a consultation that identifies a number of extra measures highlighted by residents, Cllr Scott Seamons said.

Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS, SPORT and JAYDEN depending on what services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Our top stories

Sir Tony calls time on 32-year career as an Oxfordshire MP

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Tuesday 2nd September 2014

VETERAN Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry will stand down from Parliament at the next General Election, he has announced.

Children not alone in finding school tough

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Tuesday 2nd September 2014

HELEN WRIGHT finds out how parents confront a financial squeeze educating their offspring, while education chiefs choke on providing meals for all pupils under seven

UPDATE: Abingdon Road reopened after pedestrian seriously injured in collision

Oxford Mail:

1:31pm Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Abingdon Road has reopened after a pedestrian collided with a car.

GBH at Bicester shopping village

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

9:10am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

A man has had his sentencing adjourned yesterday for causing grievous bodily harm in a shopping centre.

One killed, two hurt in three-car smash near Brize Norton

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

A PERSON was killed in a three-vehicle crash on the Witney Road near Brize Norton yesterday.

Oxford United foiled on deadline day

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Michael Appleton is determined to do his shopping earlier next summer after Oxford United were unable to land their top target before the transfer window shut last night.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:29pm Tue 15 Jul 14

King Joke says...

That is rucking fidiculous for a development that, because of where it is, will be almost entirely car-based.
That is rucking fidiculous for a development that, because of where it is, will be almost entirely car-based. King Joke
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree