Oxford is a centre of learning and innovation, whilst also being a successful city of global stature. As a consequence, there are huge demands for businesses to be based here, educational assets to be enhanced and new, high quality housing to be provided. The West End is an extension of the city centre and covers much of its vibrancy, including the railway station, retail core, employment uses at Osney Mead Industrial Estate and a number of educational assets. Set in a context which is rich in heritage, watercourses and innovation, the West End provides a fantastic opportunity for positive change and regeneration.
We were appointed by Oxford City Council in Spring 2021 to undertake a Spatial Framework and Design Guide for the West End of Oxford. We are leading on the urban design and placemaking, whilst working closely with Arup and Urban Delivery, who are leading on transport/connectivity and delivery/implementation, respectively. Our work has involved early engagement with all stakeholders to identify and unpack the value of strategic opportunities that the West End offers, which will help to promote high quality and sustainable placemaking in the short-, medium- and long-term future of this vital piece of the city.
Our extensive engagement process has involved landowners, technical groups, various interest groups and different areas of the Council. A shared vision was created through early dialogue, which informed a series of strategies underpinned by sustainability and social and economic value. These include core strategies around green and blue landscape infrastructure, movement and public realm, as well as many supporting strategies.
The Spatial Framework also considers the strategic development sites coming forward within the West End. Key design aspirations and delivery priorities are set out for each, as well as a Design Guide which seeks to ensure proposals meet the aspirations of the Spatial Framework’s vision.
Our work is now concluding, and Oxford City Council has used the Spatial Framework and the Design Guide as a basis for their new Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for the West End. You can help shape the final West End and Osney Mead SPD by participating in public consultation here.