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Univ North: vital statistics

University College, North Oxford is the most significant expansion of the College’s footprint since the 18th century. In this article you will find some of the key statistics concerning Univ North from the number of students that can be accommodated on the site to the improvements planned for the site’s landscape. In the coming weeks, we will also be publishing profiles on the members of the Univ North Working Party.

How much is the development projected to cost?
The total cost of the Univ North project will be £61 million. Of this, the College has already contributed £16 million, leaving £45 million required from external funding.

What was the cost of the land acquired for this project?
In total, Univ purchased approximately two acres (8,000m2) of land to allow this project to go ahead. This adds to the existing three acres (12,000m2) the College originally held in North Oxford. Univ paid £10.5 million for the new site.

How many people will this new development accommodate?
The existing Staverton Road buildings house 110 students. The Univ North development will add up to 149 new rooms and flats, accommodating a total of 260 people. The new accommodation will consist of 130 student rooms, eight flats, five accessible rooms, and one fully-accessible flat. This hopefully will ensure that College accommodation will be available for all students who request it.

This community will include second-year undergraduates, postgraduates, early-career fellows, visiting fellows, and fellows, staff, and students with families.

Other than accommodation, what will be on the Univ North site?
The new site will include a state-of-the-art gym, a nursery for up to 50 infants, the newly-built Fairfield House residential care home, and a café-restaurant seating up to 100 people. There will also be a versatile common area, available for both performances and lectures, that will have a capacity of 130 people. There will be a floor dedicated to work space for academic research, study and innovation and quiet space for study and reflection.
Central to the vision for the project is the focus on green spaces and outdoor living: lawns, gardens, pools, and orchards.

What is the total size of the proposed new site?
In total, including both the current and future Staverton Road sites, Univ North will span approximately five acres (20,000m2) of land area.

How will this new development affect the landscape?
While certain changes will be made to the current landscape, the architect, Níall McLaughlin, and the landscape designer, Kim Wilkie, are working tirelessly to ensure that this development contributes positively to sustainability and biodiversity.

132 trees will have to be felled initially, but these are mostly diseased or “Grade C”—that is, tress with low amenity value, scrub trees, and plants of poor quality. Most trees, however, will be retained, and particular effort is being made to conserve landmark specimen trees. Moreover, 78 new trees will be added to the site, with a material investment in native species.

This development will also contribute to a 10 percent increase in net biodiversity. The planning applications included a habitat management policy, which considers and seeks to protect to the highest degree species of bat, newt, bird, and insect.

Published: 11 June 2020

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