As a sustainable location for growth, the South Oxford Science Village features unique characteristics which aren’t replicated elsewhere in South Oxfordshire. To provide the right kind of development that the region deserves, the whole plan must deliver the highest standards of sustainability throughout.
The site offers a unique opportunity to secure the future economic success of the wider economic region. It will deliver new homes close to established world-class education and research facilities. A mix of different employment types will support regeneration and the creation of a Business Innovation District. The opportunities to drive economic sustainability at this location focus on:
- Location – providing strong links to local employment and services through an improved transport offer.
- Employment – a range of new employment opportunities. The site is due to support 2,500 new jobs.
- Business growth – space provided for start-up units, grow-on units and co-working space.
South Oxford Science Village has been designed within the existing landscape and there are excellent opportunities to integrate green spaces and improve access to the countryside. The opportunities to drive environmental sustainability are:
- Ecology – key woodland, hedgerows and streams will be retained to enhance existing habitats, and the creation of new wetland, woodland and grassland.
- Odour – mitigation measures will be introduced to contain odour within Thames Water buildings and deliver an improved air treatment plan.
- Utilities – the National Grid power lines will be retained within landscape corridors which will provide new areas for low-level planting, SuDS features and recreation space.
- Transport – a new station on re-opened Cowley Branch line, improved pedestrian and cycle routes to encourage sustainable transport, and a Park and Ride service to encourage commuters to leave their car at home.
South Oxford Science Village presents an invaluable opportunity to deliver excellent education and skills training and quality of life. It will also complement the existing services nearby and will improve the amenities offer for both South Oxford Science Village residents, and nearby Blackbird and Greater Leys. The opportunities for social sustainability include:
- Education – providing new schools and space for skills training, and linking education with nearby business opportunities.
- Employment – creation of new employment opportunities close to transport links to make it easier to find work.
- Sport and recreation – Providing new green spaces for sport and leisure and ensuring strong links between the site and surrounding countryside.
- Community facilities – new community space will be provided to encourage people to come together and will work alongside new retail and leisure facilities.