An exciting new chapter in Cowley Barracks’ history

Unite Students has made a planning application to redevelop Cowley Barracks for student accommodation for Oxford Brookes to be open for September 2019.

Oxford Brookes has been working in partnership with Unite Students for the past four years to provide affordable, high quality accommodation for students in Oxford. Purpose-built, managed halls of residence are a preferred option for the University as they help meet an increased demand for student accommodation while relieving pressure on the local housing needs.

These proposals have evolved through discussions with Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, the Oxford Design Review Panel, the local community and Oxford Brookes.

In October 2016, a community consultation event was organised by BT and was held at St Francis’ Church in Hollow Way to outline its proposals. The comments and concerns of local residents and other stakeholders have been considered and addressed. Many of these issues are answered on the page Changes to the scheme.

The planning application has now been validated. The planning application number is: 17/02140/FUL and it can be viewed on Oxford City Council’s website under planning applications.
Proposals include:

  • A high quality 885 room scheme with study and extensive amenity spaces, both internal and external;
  • Car-free development (except 16 disabled student spaces and staff cars);
  • Two temporary car parking areas on site for student move in / move out days;
  • Some 668 cycle parking spaces, all covered and secured;
  • Landscaping which will cover 35% of the near four-acre site, over and above that which is expected for a development of this size;
  • A retail shop and café which will be open to the public as well as students;
  • A community hub which will be available for public use where students and local people can interact;
  • A management suite operating 24/7 which will be a contact point for local residents;
  • Recognition of the historic nature of the site reflected in the landscape layout with the old boundary wall retained and a new information board to highlight the former distinguished occupiers of the site.

This new accommodation will bring economic benefits to the local community.

Cowley Barracks has a history of providing a home for large numbers of officers and men in the British Army, having been opened in 1876. Just as the Army’s numbers have reduced, the demand for student places has increased.