A COLLEGE has lodged plans for seven three-storey buildings in Banbury Road to house student flats.

University College has submitted plans to Oxford City Council, for 150 new rooms with facilities including a student gym, student cafe and a children's nursery.

The site at number 115 includes Fairfield House, as well as a collection of villa-style buildings also owned by the university.

Residents were consulted informally last year, but now a formal application has been put forward.

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Four of the seven student accommodation buildings would be replacements of existing structures on the site, and they would encompass 142 student bedrooms and eight self-contained flats.

Oxford Mail:

Drawings: Niall McLaughlin Architects/ University College

There would also be an extension to Fairfield House, which was vacated by a care home in 2018 when it moved to a new building on the same site.

Planning documents passed to the council state: "The proposal will deliver much-needed student accommodation that will alleviate the demand on the conversion of family accommodation within North Oxford to student living quarters.

"The buildings have been carefully positioned to protect the amenity of neighbouring properties and create a high quality, interactive living environment."

No new access road is proposed, but an existing vehicular access to 115 Banbury Road would be replaced with two new pedestrian access points.

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The seven buildings were referred to in the plan as Banbury Road Villa, Walnut Lawn Villa, Water Court Villa East, Water Court Villa West, Woodstock Pavilion, Terrace Pavilion and No 27 Staverton Road.

University College's planning application referred to an 'urgent need for 80 additional bedroom spaces' for students.

Oxford Mail:

Drawings: Niall McLaughlin Architects/ University College

The document added: "Rather than being related specifically to any planned expansion of student numbers, these rooms are required in order that [the college] may house a greater proportion of its students for a longer period of their study.

"The proposal would represent an efficient use of an existing University College site to help reduce demand for students in the general housing stock."

The college had gained permission for another development scheme on the site, named the Six Pavilions proposal, in 2015.

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However, the new application states: "The college has had time to reflect on its long-term needs and financial capacity, as well as recognising the opportunity to address concerns expressed previously by some local residents over the college’s wider intentions for the whole site.

"This application represents a comprehensive plan that offers continuity with the previous scheme... [while] taking the opportunity to replace some of the existing structures, including poor-quality extensions."

Oxford Mail:

Drawings: Niall McLaughlin Architects/ University College

Works would be carried out in two phases.

The nursery would provide up to 54 spaces for children of the college's staff and academics.

Oxford City Council is due to decide on the plan by Friday, May 15 and consultation closes on Saturday, March 7.

One resident nearby has already objected due to concerns about a new path passing alongside her property.

To view the proposals in more detail or to comment, search oxford.gov.uk for the application reference 20/00116/FUL.