Plans to create affordable business space for entrepreneurs and start-ups in East Oxford were agreed by the City Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday 10 November 2021.
The £9.7m plans will see Standingford House in Cave Street (off St Clement's) demolished and the site redeveloped to create a flexible and accessible new workspace. The Council aims to submit a planning application in the next few weeks and it is anticipated work on the site will start at the end of the year.
History of Standingford House
Standingford House is a 1960s light industrial building owned and managed by the City Council.
While it currently houses 14 businesses and organisations, the building is in need of both repair and modernisation to meet current and future efficiency standards. It also has poor accessibility, with no wheelchair provision and no lift access.
The City Council investigated a range of options, including refurbishing the existing building. The building is now at the end of its life and redeveloping the site is the best use of funds as well as providing the right space to meet the needs of modern businesses and offers the opportunity to provide more than double the existing area of workspace.
A new Standingford House
The new workspace will see a significantly increased gross internal floor area from 9,569 sq.ft. GIFA to approximately 18,700 sq.ft, making more efficient use of an important site allocated for employment use in the Oxford Local Plan.
The new three-storey building will be flexible to enable fledgling businesses to easily scale from one desk to a self-contained office. It will offer a range of different spaces, such as breakout spaces, meeting rooms, offices and single desks, offering businesses a choice currently unavailable to them.
The new building will be fully accessible and aspires to achieve the highest BREEAM (Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method) rating of ‘outstanding’.
Other measures include:
- Fabric-first approach with external fabric following best practice guidance (LETI Commercial Offices Typology)
- Performance above Oxford Policy 40% reduction in carbon emissions compared with 2013 Building Regulations
- High performing windows providing solar control whilst maximising daylight
- Shading strategy with recessed windows and external shades to address overheating and overlooking
- No fossil fuel dependence
- Electrified services with Air Source Heat Pumps providing space heating and domestic hot water
- Mechanical ventilation system with Heat Recovery
- Thermal mass with night cooling to reduce indoor temperature during summer months
- LED Lighting provide throughout with daylight dimmable controls
- EV charging facilities will be provided
- Full Building Management System
- Roof mounted Photovoltaic panels will be installed to provide on-site energy generation
- Net Zero Ready strategy
- Strategy being developed as part of Circular Economy Principles to reuse materials from existing building within new proposals
The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) secured £1.13m of investment towards the project via the government’s Local Growth Fund, and is helping support the proposal for 30% of the workspace to be let at 80% of market rates - providing affordable business space for Oxford’s new start-ups.
It is hoped that preparatory work will be able to start on site early summer 2022 and include stripping out works and works to divert the main building services. The principle building work is planned to commence by the end of the year and to be completed summer 2024.
Have your say
The City Council carried out a public consultation on the planning application in May 2022.