Construction to start at Oxford North with Hill Group awarded £15 million contract

Oxford North approved masterplan

Thomas White Oxford (TWO), the development company of St John’s College, is due to start infrastructure construction works following Oxford City Council’s planning committee resolution to approve its enabling works reserved matters application (RMA) to kick-start Oxford North, the new district for Oxford.

TWO has appointed Hill Group as the contractor to deliver the £15 million phase 1 enabling works contract.

The resolution to approve the application will mean that infrastructure construction works will start on site week commencing 23 August 2021, subject to the issue of the decision notice.

This follows the news in March 2021 that Oxford City Council had granted planning permission for outline consent for the overall 64-acre masterplan and detailed consent for the first phase of commercial development, link road and new park in the Central area and the appointment of Hill Group as residential partner to deliver the first phase of new homes on Canalside.

The works will include earthworks, sustainable drainage ponds, landscaping and related initial infrastructure required for the new link road construction between the A40 and A44 for the first phase of development in Central which will provide 140,000 sq ft (13,006 sq m) of laboratories and workspace in three buildings along with the first phase of the new public park.

William Donger, director, Thomas White Oxford said: “We have the green light to start works which is a significant milestone for Oxford North. With the world’s eyes on Oxford, we are as ever committed to deliver our investment into this project, local area and City. These enabling works lay the ground so that future development parcels will be able to come forward without further significant earthworks being required.

"To have Hill Group contracted for both the phase 1 infrastructure and new homes on Canalside is positive delivery news for the project.

“Oxford continues to see exceptional demand for R&D lab and office space from companies of many different sizes from across the globe looking for their front door to be in Oxford.

"We are delivering a world-leading sustainable place to provide much-needed new homes, to facilitate jobs and enable life-enhancing discoveries which will deliver connectivity and growth while transforming lives and the city.”

Andy Hill, chief executive, Hill Group said: “This is a significant project for Oxford and will serve to create a new community for the City whilst generating many employment opportunities. We are delighted to have been selected as the contractor to deliver the infrastructure for the new district, helping to facilitate future phases, including the new homes that we will be providing at Canalside.

"We will be looking to expand the workforce to help deliver this project and welcome applicants, who will benefit from our comprehensive training and development programmes, particularly from the local area.” 

Acting on behalf of Thomas White Oxford are Gardiner & Theobald, Fletcher Priest Architects, Stantec, Townshend Landscape Architects, Hoare Lea and Savills.