THE search is on for builders who can get a scheme to build 480 homes and bring 4,000 jobs to Oxford off the ground.

Thomas White Oxford, a company owned by St John's College, plans to build a huge development at a site called Oxford North between the A40, A44 and A34 north of Wolvercote.

The company has boasted the £500 million development will provide homes for 1,500 people, alongside shops, bars and restaurants, a hotel, approximately 23 acres of open space and improved cycle paths and roads.

After being granted planning permission for Oxford North at the end of last year, TWO is now looking for two joint venture development partners: other companies which can carry out building work.

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Jemma Aitken-Quack, is a director at real estate experts Savills, and is leading the search for builders.

Ms Aitken-Quack said: “Oxford North will become an extension to one of the world’s greatest cities and be the most substantial and significant infrastructure project that Oxford has seen for nearly 100 years.

"This is an exceptional opportunity for developers and investors which share Thomas White Oxford’s strong social investment values to work together to deliver Oxford City Council’s vision for the area and unlock its potential for future generations.”

These business partners would help to build the first phases of the project, with one focused on building new offices, and another focused on new homes.


Highlighted: the first phases which will be built. Picture: Thomas White Oxford.

The office building partner would help build phase 1a.

This would see three new office buildings built in the triangle of land between the A40 and A44, as well as a central square and temporary car and bicycle parking.

The new office buildings would include the Red Hall, a central part of the development when it was first advertised, which would provide office co-working areas for up to 300 people and would be aimed at start up companies and freelancers.

The other two buildings, known as building one and two, would be aimed at science and technology companies, with laboratory space.

The housebuilding partner would help with phase 1 canalside, which would be built to the south of the A40.

It will include more than 200 homes, with some sold at market rate and others at an affordable rate.

In the UK affordable homes are defined as those sold at 80 per cent of market value.

As well as searching for building firms, TWO is working behind the scenes on legal paperwork with Oxford City Council.

William Donger, director of TWO, said: “Oxford North will be a place that attracts talented people and organisations across technology, media, life sciences, pharmaceutical, biomedical and engineering."


Picture: Thomas White Oxford.

He added that the company was ''mindful' of the UK government’s advice around the spread of the coronavirus.

Mr Donger said: "We are commencing the preliminary JV search process now so that our plans for the future can still move ahead.”

TWO has claimed Oxford North will contribute approximately £150 million per year to the local economy.

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On December 16 last year, Oxford City Council's planning review panel gave permission for the development to go ahead.

This followed months of delay as the city council's west area planning committee searched for ways to make Oxford North compliant with its aim of 50 per cent affordable homes at all new large housing sites.

TWO agreed that 35 per cent of homes at Oxford North would be affordable, as this would still allow the company to make a profit from the scheme.