DETAILED plans for a £10m transformation of one of Oxford’s last remaining green spaces have been unveiled for the first time.
The Oxford Trust is looking to turn Stansfeld Park into a new science education and innovation centre.
The 18-acre woodland park will become home to the UK’s first purpose-built science education centre for primary school children if the proposal is approved. It will also include a café and theatre for community use.
A final application for the site was submitted last week.
Chief executive Steve Burgess said he hoped a decision would be made in January and if approved work would begin in June.
He said: “The development of the Stansfeld site will give us the opportunity to expand the impact of our Science Oxford education and engagement programmes as well as providing badly-needed space in the city for science and technology grow-on companies.
“The development will also create a new space for local residents to enjoy.”
He added that he is optimistic the centre will open its doors to the community by September 2018.
The Trust held a public consultation on the latest plans on Thursday and fielded questions from local residents, following on from an initial consultation which took place in May.
After hearing recommendations from the Oxford Design Review Panel, a number of changes to the finished plan have been made.
Final plans include a science centre which will provide hands-on science elements and fixtures for primary school aged children and their families.
Alongside this will be a wood centre for innovation which will provide a space for start-up businesses as well as grow-in science and technology companies with money made from the business centre going back into funding the education centre.
The proposal also includes a 100-seat theatre venue which would be available for hire and the creation of a “pay-as-you-use” scheme selectively opened to family, group and individual visits to the woodland park outside of educational trips.
The design of the buildings will include a green “living roof” above the education centre, planted with grasses and wild flowers and a “living wall” to include climbing plants.
The single access route to Headington Quarry would feature additional lighting with no new access routes proposed and there would be a number of car parking and bicycle spaces provided to users of the park.
The managed woodland environment which has some five and half miles of trails in an 18-acre site will be partly-managed by environmental charity The Sylva Foundation.