The West End regeneration incorporates many different development schemes and projects; each project owner, landowner or developer will seek to encourage public feedback via consultation exhibitions, feedback forms and questionnaires, or through participation at workshops and meetings, giving you the opportunity to comment on development and influence decisions. For information about consultations, both past and present, please see our Public Consultation Diary below.
OXFORD WAYFINDING PROJECT
The Oxford Wayfinding Project was launched in 2010 to look at ways of updating the city centre's twenty year old wayfinding system. Widespread consultation took place in 2010-11, initially focusing on key stakeholders such as cultural and heritage organisations, local businesses, universities, accessibility groups and senior councillors.
Residents and visitors were then asked to give their views in an Oxford-wide public consultation in Autumn 2011; Two prototype signs were installed in Bonn Square and St Ebbe's Street to enable people to see the proposed designs in situ and provide informed feedback. Over 120 people responded to the questionnaire, with around 50 of these providing detailed comments and suggestions. Several changes were incorporated into the design of the signs as a result of this consultation.
A new wayfinding system has now been installed that enhances the experience of visiting, working or living in Oxford by:
- Providing clear directional and map information to visitors
- Providing useful information for residents and encourages alternative routes
- Showcasing a strong design which reflects Oxford’s unique character and history
- Minimising street clutter by integrating directional information with maps, resulting in fewer signs
The sign family includes large and small map monoliths, wall-mounted maps and traditional fingerposts. The finished signs incorporate design features, such as bronze posts, that complement Oxford’s architecture and the materials have been carefully chosen to ensure they will be durable, adaptable and affordable to maintain. The new system is one of the first in the UK to combine wayfinding boards with state-of-the-art technology that allows the user to access information via smart phones.
For more information about the Oxford Wayfinding Project, click here.
The transformation of Frideswide Square from a congested junction to a functional and welcoming public space is a key priority for the West End Partnership and Oxfordshire County Council. In summer 2012 the Government announced its intention to provide further investment in the national rail network, including significant investment at Oxford Station. Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council have since formed a partnership with the Department of Transport and Network Rail to prepare a masterplan which will outline the long-term vision for the station and surrounds. In particular it will consider the role of the station in the regeneration of Frideswide Square.
This follows the development of two preferred design option for the Square which emerged from the background and feasibility work conducted to date. Both options are based on the 'shared space' principle which would see traffic lights replaced with compact roundabouts, reduced road widths and courtesy crossing points. These options will be subject to further stakeholder consultation in early 2012 along with traffic modelling and technical studies, before a final design decision can be reached.
Several previous stages of stakeholder and public consultation were held in 2010-11 on the future of Frideswide Square. Initially, residents and stakeholders were invited to share their views via an online and print survey in spring 2010. This was followed by a more detailed stakeholder consultation in summer 2010. This initial consultation process revealed a high level of dissatisfaction with Frideswide Square in its current state - see the ambitions document for more information.
In late 2010, local organisations, stakeholders and the public were invited to give their views on the design and preparatory work via a detailed questionnaire. For more information on this phase of consultation please read the background documentation.
A series of public meetings, including the the Central, South and West Area Forum and West Oxford Matters, are being held to discuss issues of local concern around the regeneration of Frideswide Square and Oxford Railway Station. Details of these meetings and other opportunities to participate locally can be found on our Community Involvement pages.
For more information about Frideswide Square, click here.
OXFORD RAILWAY STATION
Oxford Railway Station is an important gateway to Oxford and the West End, however it is in need of significant upgrading, both in terms of operational performance and passenger provision. Plans to redevelop the station have intensified over the past two years as it has become evident that the station's long-term needs will soon outstrip its capacity.
In summer 2012 the Government announced its intention to provide further investment in the national rail network, including significant investment at Oxford Station. Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council have since formed a partnership with the Department of Transport and Network Rail to prepare a masterplan which will outline the long-term vision for the station and surrounds. The masterplan will take into account all rail proposals, such as electrification, the creation of the Evergreen 3 link from Oxford to London Marylebone via Bicester, and the East-West rail link. It will also consider the role of the station in the wider regeneration of Oxford’s West End, particularly with regard to the redevelopment of Frideswide Square.
Network Rail’s earlier plan to create a platform on the Becket Street car park, along with Oxfordshire County Council's plan to replace the Botley Road bridge, will be considered along with this more extensive redevelopment. Click here to read a summary of this earlier consultation (held in 2010) or view the exhibition posters.
For more information about Oxford Railway Station, click here.
Science Oxford has unveiled plans to build a £35m Science Discovery and Innovation Centre, known as the Magnet, that will feature a domed, immersive theatre and a series of galleries that showcase the discoveries that drive Oxford’s economy. The state-of-the-art facility, next to the historic Castle Mound, is expected to become a major tourist attraction, attracting as many as 150,000 visitors a year and generating £128m for the economy over 10 years.
Science Oxford is keen to hear what people think of their plans and to find out what they'd like to see in the new centre. To this end members of the public were invited to contribute their views at three consultation workshops in late 2010.
Following this, the public were again asked to share their views when the designs for the visitor attraction, produced by architects Foster & Partners, were put on display on Wednesday 21 November and Saturday 24 November.
A planning application is expected to be submitted by the end of the year with a construction start in early 2015 and opening of the centre in 2016.
For more information about Science Oxford's exciting new home, click here.
OLD FIRE STATION
The 'new' Old Fire Station was reopened on November 4th, 2011, after a large-scale refurbishment. The result is a modern and dynamic centre where performance, education and training combine in an impressive building re-designed by architects Fielden Clegg Bradley. Oxford City Council and Crisis formed an alliance in 2008 to bid for funding from the Homes and Communities Agency to redevelop the 115-year-old building.
The new facility now houses Crisis Skylight Oxford, which provides education, training and employment services for homeless and vulnerably housed people, along with Arts at the Old Fire Station, an independent charity which offers professional development for artists, creative activities for the general public, and a shop selling the work of local artists.
Widespread consultation took place in 2009-10 with key stakeholders, including homelessness organisations, senior councillors, accessibility groups, and arts and cultural organisations. Public consultation events were held in October, 2009, and February, 2010, giving people the opportunity to view and comment on the proposed designs for the building.
Local residents were then invited to a public information session to view the final designs for the building and meet the contractor. Details of these public consultation sessions, including earlier designs, can be found at the Crisis Skylight website, or you can view the exhibition boards here.
For more information about the Old Fire Station redevelopment, click here.
FISHER ROW POCKET PARK
The Fisher Row pocket park improvement scheme was completed in late 2010, opening up the Castle Mill Stream waterside walkway as a convenient, attractive and safe central route between north and south Oxford. The scheme was a key platform of the West End Partnership's programme of improvements to public spaces along the central waterside corridor, which saw significant upgrades to the neighbouring Hythe Bridge Pocket Park and Lower Fisher Row Gardens.
The improvement works included replacing the old footpath surfacing, extending the steps, cleaning the stonework on the bridge, introducing new street furniture, upgrading the street lighting, and carrying out general maintenance such as repairing stonework and re-pointing.
Oxford residents were invited to consult on the improvements to Fisher Row pocket park in February 2010, as part of the West End Community Group meeting. There was broad support for the project and some useful suggestions were incorporated into the work, which was completed in autumn 2010.
For more information about the Fisher Row scheme click here.
ST EBBE'S STREET
The redevelopment of St Ebbe's Street, between Pembroke Street and Bonn Square, is a key aim of the West End regeneration, and preliminary work is in progress to assess the viability of the scheme. As part of this preliminary work, a public consultation was held from May 21st to June 28th, 2010. For details of this consultation, and more information about the proposed improvement scheme, please visit the Ambitions for St Ebbe's Street webpage.
For more information about St Ebbe's Street click here.
Consultation ended March 2009. A phased programme of improvements to Queen Street was delivered on time and to budget in Summer 2009. The work involved:
- Relocating bus stops from Queen Street to nearby streets
- Reducing the number of buses passing through Queen Street by around one third
- Creating more space for pedestrians
- Resurfacing pavements and the road
- Replacing street furniture - benches, cycle racks etc
For more information see the Transform Oxford website.