The design of the scheme was highly commended and turned out to be the deciding factor in determining the application.
The site, as it stands today, is made up of a large two and a half storey Victorian era Manor House, as well as a number of recently built outbuildings, many of which are derelict. The site was most recently owned by the charity, Action for Children, and was being used as a residential school for disabled children. Action for Children opted to sell the site following it becoming unviable to run. They are investing the funds generated into other charitable projects in the local area.
Key proposals included:
- Provides 44 dwellings on a rare brownfield site, close to Oxford City Center with an imporoved junction with the A420
- Retains the existing Manor House; removing unsightly modern extensions and refurbishing the interior to provide 17 new apartments aimed at downsizers. The main hall, fireplace and stair though unlisted will be retained as a focal point entrance hall. The original east service wing is also restored and a new extension added in a sympathetic architectural character.
- A range of housing types aimed at first time buyers and families. The buildings have a traditional appearance and will create a new ‘Hamlet’ around the Manor House with the architectural character associated with a Manor House estate; the Gate Lodge, converted barns / stables, estate cottages and the garden courtyard with regency style ‘cottage orne’.
- Re-use of redundant and unsightly brownfeld land within Oxford’s Green Belt creating new habitats for wildlife within woodland areas, improving the biodiversity on site and enhancing of the parkland settings through a scheme that creates a more visually permeable environment and that is considerate of views, existing trees and vegetation