OXFORD Brookes University has revealed designs for a 500-home estate on its Wheatley Campus.
The plans include 200 ‘affordable’ homes, new ‘sport and recreation facilities’, play areas and public open space.
But despite the fact the housing figure has dropped a third from the 750 mooted in 2016, the scheme has divided villagers.
On a post about the new plans on the Wheatley Village Facebook page, Tony Gee wrote: “What needs to be discussed will be the sewage treatment works at Wheatley, which is currently at full capacity.”
Pam Short commented: “Glad we’re out of Wheatley, sounds horrendous – the schools, roads and GP surgery will never cope,” while Steve West predicted: “This will it be rented housing for youngsters from Wheatley or expensive weekend homes for the London workforce.”
A more positive Mary Tapper said: “I think this seems a good use for the site and look forward to seeing it happen! We need houses for people and it will make sure that the shops and library in Wheatley are used more.”
Brookes first announced in 2015 that it wanted to sell off its 52.7-acre Wheatley site, just off the A40, as part of a 10-year plan to overhaul its estates.
The university currently has three Oxford campuses and ‘more estates than it needs’, and says Wheatley Campus includes its ‘oldest and least fit-for-purpose accommodation’.
The sale of Wheatley will enable Brookes to plough millions into its Oxford campuses, including moving its business school and engineering department to Headington.
In 2010 the site was estimated to be worth up to £24m.
Wheatley Parish Council chairman Doug Lamont said: “This is one of the district council’s approved sites for development, so we have to look at this rationally.
“We will be considering the application at full council and will provide our response in due course.”
In their planning application to South Oxfordshire District Council, Brookes’ consultants FPCR said the development would ‘help meet the needs of the area’.
The firm wrote: “Housing will be set within a strong network of green infrastructure which helps to integrate the development within the landscape and create an attractive place to live.
“New neighbourhoods will be created with each having a strong identity and character.”
Brookes is currently planning to leave the campus in 2022, leaving contractors to demolish the 10,000sq m of university buildings.
Brookes director of estates Sue Holmes said: “As announced in 2015, Oxford Brookes is planning to move all activity from the Wheatley Campus by 2021/ 2022. Oxford Brookes is currently pursuing the sale of the site and has submitted an outline planning application.”
University reveals 500-home plan for rural site to a mixed response have 436 words, post on www.oxfordmail.co.uk at January 26, 2018. This is cached page on Asean News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.