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Allies and Morrison to house Oxford dons

Allies and Morrison has won a commission to design cheap accommodation for Oxford University dons.


The practice plans to submit a planning application this autumn for a scheme to house poorly paid academics by extending a suburb of upmarket north Oxford.



The £40 million waterside redevelopment of a former Paper Mill in Wolvercote would create 200 new homes.



This land has been owned by Oxford University Press (OUP) since the 1850s.



According to Tim del Nevo, the university’s land agent, the university plans to acknowledge the mill’s industrial past by relocating OUP’s last remaining printing centre within the new site.



Proposed housing - which it is hoped will accommodate more than 600 people - would include a mix of accommodation, from one-bedroom flats to four-bedroom houses.



The university would retain ownership of the site, which includes a neglected reservoir and is bordered by the Mill Stream, a tributary of the River Thames.



Other plans being mooted include creating a new village green and community centre.



A spokeswoman for the University said: ‘Although the University is able to provide rented accommodation for some members of staff, it is believed that this is the first time that it has sought to create purpose built accommodation.



‘The University finds difficulty in recruiting staff due to the high cost of housing in the area, and as an international university we are completing with other great universities in the world, and in particular with those in North America.



‘We are also in the same position as many other local employers whose staff find it difficult to secure accommodation due the high cost local housing market.’



by Rob Sharp

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