The location of Univ’s visionary North Oxford development has been a second home for students for nearly 50 years. The new Univ North development will offer the College’s community of staff, students and academics modern, energy-efficient, multi-functional buildings for accommodation, gym, café and children’s nursery. All within a beautifully landscaped garden setting.
The Univ North scheme will include new energy efficient buildings, with up to 150 study bedspaces, gym, café, study, meeting and lecture spaces, as well as nursery provision. The scheme will renovate existing buildings, rejuvenate heritage orchards, and offer beautifully landscaped gardens. Working together, Univ will provide the College community with thoughtful design, which encompasses the benefits of natural light and an appealing landscape, together with accessible access, routes and rooms. This continues Univ’s aim to provide the very best facilities for students, staff and academics.
“Univ North is transformational for Univ, enabling us to further realise our ambitions with respect to academic excellence, diversity and inclusion. Generous support from our alumni has made this project possible. It will enhance the experience of our students and benefit our whole community.”
Valerie Amos, Master
The development site is located in North Oxford between Staverton Road to the north, Banbury Road to the east, Rawlinson Road to the south and Woodstock Road to the west.
Univ students have been living on this site since as far back as 1973.
Latest Univ North News
Work begins on the Univ North site
The Univ North development has reached an important milestone with the College submitting its Notice of Commencement, the formal signal of the start of engineering and construction works following the site preparation, tree management and the like. More…
SDC Appointed Contractor for Univ North
SDC has been selected as the likely preferred construction contractor to build University College’s Univ North scheme, a landscape-driven multigenerational community setting in North Oxford. More…
Univ Winner of Housing Design Awards 2022
The Univ North scheme, which will create a visionary landscape-driven multigenerational community in North Oxford, has won the Good Neighbour Award in the Project Category for the Housing Design Awards 2022. More…
Funding awarded from the Wolfson Foundation
Univ has been awarded up to £230,000 from the Wolfson Foundation. This generous support will go towards the cost of study facilities within the new Univ North development, a state-of-the-art, sustainable, multigenerational education and living space in North Oxford. More…
Univ to receive unprecedented $35 million
The most ambitious building project in Univ’s history, since the Main Quad in the 17th century, Univ North can only be realised thanks to the innovative financing arrangement supported by generous philanthropist, Mr David Frederick, US attorney, University College alumnus and Foundation Fellow. More…
Read all of our Univ North News
Univ North and its Neighbours
“Univ North” is the name given by University College, Oxford (Univ) to an area of land which is bounded by Staverton Road to the north, Banbury Road to the east, Rawlinson Road to the south and Woodstock Road to the west. This site is located within one of the most beautiful parts of Oxford: the North Oxford Victorian Conservation Area (NOVSCA). Being a “good neighbour” is integral to Univ’s vision for the development of Univ North, and as such the College understands the importance of integrating well with the residential community in North Oxford.
To help build and sustain strong and supportive local relationships, Univ and local residents have jointly formed the Univ North Neighbourhood Review Group (UNNRG). The UNNRG helps to raise awareness of the site’s impact on the local neighbourhood and thus helps inform decision making by Univ as the scheme develops.
UNNRG comprises representatives of the local community, College Fellows and senior members of the Univ management team, architects, as well as other team members with specialist skills. The preferred construction contractor, SDC, has also joined the UNNRG and will contribute actively to the discussions.
The group has been meeting monthly since January 2021 and has provided a helpful way for Univ to understand local pressures, needs, and concerns; and to ask for the neighbours’ views on key concepts as the site is designed. Initial discussions have covered design principles, planning permissions, construction traffic movements, and the scheme’s integration within the surrounding residential community, as well as specific concerns from residents.
UNNRG is supported by an Environmental Subgroup with members from both the community and College. The group has paid close attention to Univ’s plans for biodiversity, sustainability, and other factors, such as considering the site’s impact on its immediate neighbours and the wider landscape and environment.
This information will be updated by the College to help keep neighbours aware of the project and its next steps. To discover more about the project and to stay up-to-date with the schedule, please see the forthcoming activities section, “What is coming next and when?” below.
What is being built?
The first phase of this development comprises five new-build villa and pavilion buildings and the renovation and refurbishment of 115 Banbury Road villa and the Garden House, which sits behind 98 Woodstock Road. The completed development will offer up to 150 new study bedspaces, making a total of up to 275 at Univ North. In addition, a gym, café, study, meeting and lecture spaces, as well as a children’s nursery for up to 54 children including outdoor play area will be built. The enhanced collegiate community will benefit from easy access to the natural environment through landscaped gardens, a rejuvenated heritage orchard and buildings which maximise natural light. Univ North creates a cohesive, thoughtful design, maximising space in a great North Oxford location, which is sympathetic to the North Oxford Victorian suburb conservation area (NOVSCA).
The project will be conducted in two phases, as shown on the location and phasing plan. The phasing is still subject to optimised logistics and may be adjusted by the College and construction contractor in consultation with neighbours. The main entrance to Univ North will be on Banbury Road, where a new lodge and entranceway will be built. Other entrances will be designed to minimise vehicle use and impact on the local streets.
During construction Univ will instruct its contractors to minimise vehicle movements and noise to the fullest extent practicable. Some site accesses will be inevitable through Staverton Road and into the Staverton Road Annexe entranceway. These will be carefully designed and supervised when in operation to ensure the safety of cyclists and other road users. The contract will include provisions requiring site workers to use the Park and Ride rather than park on site or on local streets. For a fuller explanation of the proposals to control the movement of site personnel and vehicles during construction, please refer to the Construction Environmental Management Plan.
When was the planning permission granted?
Planning permission was granted by Oxford City Council in October 2020. The reference number for the main planning application is 20/00116/FUL. Should you wish to review the details of the proposals, simply include the reference number on the search function of the planning portal.
What is coming next and when?
The next project steps are as follows:
• March 2023 – April 2023 : Formal Notice of Commencement submitted to the Council, allowing engineering works, such as the demolition of 115 Banbury Road extensions and finalising site access works and logistics to be progressed.
• April 2023 – May 2023 : Below ground foundations and drainage works, and permanent site offices to areas off Banbury Road and Staverton Road.
• Second quarter, 2023: Begin final stage of procurement and negotiate construction contract.
• 2025: Expected occupation of Phase 1 buildings.
SDC has been selected as the likely preferred construction contractor to build University College’s Univ North scheme, a landscape-driven multigenerational community setting in North Oxford.
SDC will honour the Considerate Constructor Scheme and its processes.
SDC is posting a monthly newsletter to local neighbours with information about what is coming up. Read Univ North Newsletters as PDFs below:
SDC contact details
David Heard, Project Director
T: 07946 893410
David will act as the Project Director during the Construction Phase. David is one of SDC’s longest serving members of staff, meaning he is fully accustomed to SDC’s collaborative, problem-solving approach to project delivery and will take the lead in engendering this ethos across the rest of the Project Team.
Farid Zadeh, Project Manager
T: 07580 089659
Farid is a professional and pragmatic Project Manager who has an impressive track record of delivering a diverse range of new build and refurbishment projects across Cambridge and Oxford. Farid offers both technical expertise and leadership qualities which he brings to the team with enthusiasm.
Keeping in touch.
Please refer to this information, which will be regularly updated by the College with the construction timeline and key decisions.
Univ has also provided a special email address for neighbours should they have concerns which they would like to raise directly with the College: email@example.com
Univ North Support
“Our vision for Univ North is being made a reality thanks to the incredible generosity of our Old Members. It is testimony to their passion for and commitment to Univ, and we would like to thank all our supporters for joining us in this exciting project, which will benefit the College community for generations to come.”
Rebecca Baxter, Interim Development Director
If you’re interested in supporting Univ North or would like to find out more, please contact the Development Team Development@univ.ox.ac.uk – we’d be delighted to speak to you.
Explore College and Univ North further on our Your Impact, Give Back, Alumni News and Publications pages.