University College, North Oxford

University College, North Oxford



Planning Application Link    View map

Number/street name:
Fairfield - 115 Banbury Road

Address line 2:



Niall McLaughlin Architects (NMLA)

Architect contact number:

University College, Oxford.

Planning Authority:
Oxford City Council,

Planning consultant:
Barton Willmore

Planning Reference:

Date of Completion:

Schedule of Accommodation:
The scheme provides 102 bedspaces, comprising a mix of study bedrooms, accessible study bedrooms and 1-bed flats, in Phase 1 and 48 bedspaces in Phase 2, including again accessible bedrooms. There are planned to be 7 nr. wheelchair accessible bedrooms and 8 nr. 1-bed flats in the new development, the latter for graduates or junior academics. There are a variety of communal student kitchens across the site. (For the purposes of this application, a 'home' is defined as a household with a kitchen, which might comprise up to 7 student members sharing the household facility.

Tenure Mix:
100% University College, Oxford

Total number of homes:

Site size (hectares):

Net Density (homes per hectare):

Size of principal unit (sq m):
14 - 21

Smallest Unit (sq m):

Largest unit (sq m):

No of parking spaces:

Scheme PDF Download

Planning History

The original concept included concurrent applications submitted in 2015 for new graduate student accommodation, referred to as Six Pavilions (OCC reference 15/01108/FUL 16/01650/VAR) and a new care home for Fairfield Residential Home (15/01104/FUL). They were approved on the 8th October, 2015 (Six Pavilions) and 10th November, 2015 (Fairfield Residential Home). The residential home is now fully completed. The student accommodation development has also been commenced and remains extant. The College has adopted an holistic approach to the site which reflects the creation of the consented masterplan (20/00116/FUL) comprising mixed undergraduate and graduate accommodation and a more comprehensive suite of facilities.

The Design Process

The intention is to expand the satellite annexe for about a net additional 140 bedspaces. The College’s primary driving purpose is to craft a site for a high-quality collegiate community. A significant component of this is the creation of new graduate and undergraduate accommodation in close proximity to the High Street site. The project is a rare opportunity to enhance the provision on the site with a scheme that is heavily inspired and enriched by the neighbouring North Oxford Victorian Suburb Conservation Area residential context. The proposed development provides the College with a valuable chance to unify a varied set of buildings and functions through the implementation of a landscape-led scheme. The College understands very well that, while the creation of attractive and engaging buildings set in beautiful landscapes is central to this collegiate purpose, the activities on the site have to fit with the residential neighbourhood and be part of the community. As such, the College has developed an cross-generational strategy setting out the College’s ambition to open up the facilities to our neighbours.
The proposals involve a comprehensive development of the site including;
• 150 ensuite study bedrooms, within 7no. new villa and pavilion buildings, incorporating ancillary student facilities including a gym, ‘student’ café, study spaces and meeting rooms,
• A children’s nursery for up to 54 children including an outdoor playspace,
• Refurbishment of existing Fairfield House,
• A series of garden spaces, that are varied and harmonious in character to complement and enhance the existing mature landscape setting,
• Ancillary structures including a Covered Seating Area overlooking Water Court,
• The rearrangement of car parking across the site to restrict car movement to the site edges by Staverton Road and Banbury Road,
• Careful consideration of the impact of vehicular access for deliveries, emergency services and refuse,
• Covered and secure cycle parking.

Choose a few key elements you want to promote

7 new three storey buildings - CLT construction.
Renovation of Fairfield House to provide self-contained student flats.
Reduction in parking spaces from 50 to just 14.
Increase in covered bicycle storage.
Architectural place-making and shared use spaces to encourage multi-generational interaction.
MVHR, reducing fresh air heating load by more than 80%.
Use of ASHP’s helping to achieve greater than a 40% reduction in emissions.
Site-wide Lighting Strategy - mindful of biodiversity and reducing night-time light pollution.
Landscape-led scheme. Biodiversity gains and creation of gardens in keeping with NOVSCA guidance. Orchards replanted and specimen trees preserved with buildings designed around them.

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Scheme Information


  • Courtyard House
  • Cohousing
  • Multi-Aspect Apartments


  • Medium density


  • Private Ownership


  • Estate Regeneration
  • Suburban


  • Brickwork
  • Contemporary Design
  • Local Vernacular
  • CLT
  • Modern methods
  • Off-site


  • Managing water use and run off (eg SuDS or water recycling)
  • Embodied energy in construction
  • Building energy in use (any target above Regs)
  • Biodiversity (eg Building with Nature)

Outdoor areas

  • Private Terraces
  • Outside Terrace
  • Biodiversity
  • Garden

Surrounding Area

  • Landscape
  • Communal Spaces
  • Community Buildings
  • Play Spaces


  • Wheelchair
  • Community


The 7 new superstructures have been designed in lightweight Cross Laminated Timber. CLT is a method of sustainable construction that uses timber for the structure instead of higher carbon concrete or steel. The timber is sourced from sustainably managed forests and sequesters C02 throughout the life of the building. CLT is made on the continent however the transport in construction will equate roughly to 4% of the total C02 produced. The panels are available in different grades which allows for a higher quality visual finish where it is to be exposed. Exposing the CLT will reduce the need for finishes, therefore lowering the weight of the building and removing additional materials from site. Within some of the student spaces we are seeking to express visual CLT. Structural walls, floors and roofs are formed of solid CLT panels and assembled on site - meaning faster construction, a lot less deliveries to site to construct the frame, it is a dry trade so it is also quieter to construct. CLT also achieves very good air tightness to help the thermal efficiency of the building during its life using a "fabric first" approach. Where possible the cement content of the concrete will be minimised to limit the embodied CO2. Fairfield House is to be retained and have a light refurbishment and the existing Garden House is the be re-configured and extended, re-using existing roof joists and materials wherever possible. Reduction of car parking spaces from 50 to 14, comprising 1 Disabled Bay at Nursery + 6 Disabled Bays for Students + 7 bays for College Staff , encouraging parents, carers, staff and students to arrive by public transport, on foot or by bike. Some covered and some building integrated bike storage is provided throughout the development for 295 bicycles, an increase of 178.