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Bayswater Oxford development

“Bayswater Oxford” development plans

Bayswater development site

This proposed development by Christ Church and Dorchester Residential Management of land to the north of the Bayswater Brook (which adjoins Barton Park to the north-west and north-east) is on Green Belt land that comes under South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC). The land is privately owned by Thomas Wolsey Property Ltd and Wick Farming Ltd:

  • Thomas Wolsey Property Ltd was incorporated in Cambridge on 24 November 2017.
    Its directors are The Very Revd Martyn Percy (the Dean of Christ Church); James Lawrie (Treasurer of Christ Church); and M & R Secretarial Services Ltd.
    Classification: Other business support service activities not elsewhere classified
  • Wick Farming Ltd was incorporated in Oxford on 20 September 2012 when the farm was bought by the Aubrey-Fletcher family. Its registered office is now The Treasury, Christ Church, and on 8 December 2018 James Lawrie (Treasurer of Christ Church) and Keith Stratford (College Accountant of Christ Church) were appointed directors (in place of Harry Buchanan Aubrey-Fletcher, Sir Henry Egerton Aubrey-Fletcher, John Robert Aubrey-Fletcher, Thomas Egerton Aubrey-Fletcher, and the solicitor Peter Robert Michael Bond).
    Classification: Growing of cereals (except rice), leguminous crops, and oil seeds
Latest developments

In December 2018 SODC agreed to add this site to its Local Plan:

On 3 April 2019 the Pegasus Group (on behalf of Christ Church, Oxford) submitted a request to SODC for an Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping Opinion for the construction of up to 1,100 residential dwellings, local centre, primary school, and associated infrastructure on land to the north of the Bayswater Brook, Oxford:

Christ Church and Dorchester Residential Management have produced the Bayswater Oxford development website. This gives three options for homes on the site: click on the links for a plan showing the areas covered. Option 1 of the proposed development is larger than Barton Park and would follow the line of the Bayswater Brook as far as Elsfield Road. Options 2 and 3 extend the development much further. Click on the Options in the first column to see maps of the areas covered:

Option 1

750–925 homes

On the Christ Church land to north-west of Barton Park, reaching as far as the Marston flyover and the road to Elsfield (from which the site would be accessed), plus a link to Barton Park at the east end

Option 2

1500–1850 homes

Again on this Christ Church land but extending the above proposal further north and north-east. This option would also include a new Local Centre providing education and community facilities. This would provide an additional 750 homes to the 1,100 in the SODC Local Plan

Option 3

2900–3250 homes

On the original Christ Church land and also the land of Wick Farm. This option would include a local centre, two new schools, a retail centre, a country and local park, potential student accommodation, and a cemetery. It would include 405 affordable homes and a further 105 homes for key hospital and university workers. “This option is deliverable within the 2033 plan period.”

In March 2019 Brunel Surveys Ltd started to survey the site, starting near Marston flyover and working east. By 23 April 2019 the surveyors had reached Wick Farm, and the photograph below shows two of them surveying the file next to the Bayswater Brook on that day.

Surveying at Wick Farm


Background

On 5 February 2018 the Pegasus Group submitted an earlier scoping opinion request (P18/S0399/SCO) for the construction of up to 750 residential dwellings, a local centre, and associated infrastructure on their land. SODC responded on 23 March 2018, and this Scoping Opinion has been used to inform the content of the revised scoping request above.

South Oxfordshire District Council agreed on 5 December 2018 to add the Bayswater Brook site to its Local Plan. The draft plan discussed by the SODC Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 13 December (agenda and minutes). The SODC Cabinet examined the proposals on 18 December (agenda) to make a recommendation for consideration at the full SODC meeting on Thursday 20 December (agenda), where it was accepted:

On 20 December 2018 South Oxfordshire District Council voted to approve the published version of its new Local Plan, and the six-week consultation closed on 18 February 2019.

This possible joint development of the two areas of land was first revealed in 2016:

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England: “SODC stabs Green Belt in the back


Importance of the proposed development site
Historical

Wick Farmhouse, its two sets of gate piers, and barn are all Grade II listed. Its well-house is Grade II*, but is on the Historic England “Heritage at Risk” register because of slow decay. There are also the remains of a Roman villa near the farm.

Natural

The site adjoins Sydlings Copse Nature Reserve and College Pond, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest


Earlier publicity about possible Christ Church development

The possibility of this development was first revealed in October 2013 when Christ Church wrote to Oxford City Council in 2013 to say that in the long term it would be interested in “exploring potential opportunities to work with the city council to bring forward land that could help serve and support the Barton strategic development site”.


Earlier publicity about possible Wick Farm development

Harry Aubrey-Fletcher and his family (Wick Farming Ltd), bought the 280-acre Wick Farm site from Buswell's in 2012 and in 2017 announced their hope of building 1,850 homes there.

Wick Farm Ltd and would-be house-builder Berkeley Homes (Southern) Ltd (now Berkeley Strategic Land Ltd) also mentioned the possibility of building the following facilities on Wick Farm: (1) a 250-bedroom accommodation block for the new Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery, (2) a 100-bed convalescent home for older patients to ease bed-blocking at the hospitals, (3) a car park for the hospitals with a shuttle bus, and (4) a 20-acre parkland cemetery next to the Crematorium, but some of these ideas now seem to have been discarded.

In May 2017 South Oxfordshire District Council agreed that prior approval was not required for Aubrey-Fletcher's planning application for Wick Farm for "Change of use of agricultural buildings to storage of moveable storage containers" (P17/S1055/PDA).

On 7 December 2018 two members of Christ Church Treasury became directors of Wick Farm Ltd in place of the Aubrey-Fletchers, but not of Buswell's Park, which has wood-framed homes.


© Stephanie Jenkins

 

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