CONSTRUCTION vehicles could start using Oxford's Cornmarket Street from Sunday as work begins on a £36m scheme to create new shops and student accommodation.

Jesus College is to revamp Northgate House, on the corner of Market Street and Cornmarket Street.

Demolition work is about to start and lorries will be allowed to use Cornmarket but not between between 10am and 7pm.

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Between 5am and 10am they can use the street to make deliveries, and after 7pm by agreement, driving in at Carfax and leaving via George Street.

Retail expert Keith Slater said: "The biggest disruption could come in the evening if people are walking up and down the street and lorries are using it.

"If there is lots of rubble to cart away it would go in the evening.

"Traders will just have to get used to it - a bit like when the Westgate Centre was being built."

Oxford Mail:

Work will start on Sunday, with hoarding going up around a small section of perimeter wall in Market Street before it is demolished.

READ AGAIN: Work begins on £36m upgrade to Cornmarket Street

Mary Clarkson, board member for culture and city centre, said: “Jesus College’s redevelopment of Northgate House is more than once in a generation – it is once in a century.

“The project will expand the independent retail quarter around the Covered Market, will bring a modern and iconic new building to the heart of the city, will create a new city centre community, and will help secure the future of an Oxford institution.

“We are delighted to have been able to work so closely with Jesus College on the redevelopment plans to minimise any impact on Covered Market and Market Street traders, and, in the longer term, create new community space in and a striking new entrance to Market Street.”

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The council has been working closely with the college on the location of the hoardings, ensuring that they take up the minimum amount of space so that people can still access the Covered Market and Market Street traders.

Oxford Mail:

The majority of construction vehicles will be kept away from Market Street and instead, Cornmarket Street will be used.

The hours of these vehicle movements will be restricted to avoid rush hour traffic.

During the redevelopment, access and delivery arrangements for the Covered Market will remain unchanged, and there will be no change to the existing loading and parking regulations outside the market.

Jesus College’s contractor will also provide a traffic marshal to monitor and manage traffic movements into the construction site during the work to keep the impact on traders to a minimum.

Oxford Mail:

There will also be regular meetings with traders as the development progresses.

The new three-storey Northgate House, which will include a new gatehouse into the college facing onto Market Street and a new quad, will combine academic research and teaching facilities, student accommodation and new shops.

The council and Jesus College are working together on the design for the hoardings.

Oxford Mail:

Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Principal of Jesus College, said: “The new development is an exciting milestone in the history of the College, and will ensure that we remain at the forefront of academic excellence while making the College more open and integrated.

“New retail spaces on the ground floor will help regenerate the city centre, and access via Market Street will help bring the College closer to the local community. We see this as an opportunity not just to embrace the future of learning at Jesus College, but to help improve and enhance the Cornmarket area of Oxford.”

The scheme is expected to be completed by 2021, to coincide with the college's 450th anniversary.