L&G, Oxford University to build new postgraduate homes

L&G, Oxford University to build new postgraduate homes in Oxfordshire

Legal & General and Oxford University have announced the development of Court Place Gardens, an estate containing new postgraduate homes specifically designed for families, as part of Legal & General and Oxford University’s £4bn partnership.

The development of Court Place Gardens, in Iffley, Oxfordshire, is the first residential site to be delivered through the partnership and, once completed, will deliver 84 postgraduate homes, many of them designed for families.

With its world-class university, Oxford is one of the UK’s fastest growing cities and competes among the top technology clusters in the world, says Legal & General.

The city lacks affordable residential accommodation, which is essential for the University to continue to attract graduate students, according to the company. ”Court Place Gardens will help accelerate Oxford’s potential by creating more affordable and high quality accommodation, enabling the University to retain and attract more talent to the city, which is a fundamental ambition of the partnership.”

Legal & General entered into a £4bn partnership with Oxford University in June 2019, creating Oxford University Development (OUD) in order to provide thousands of new homes for staff and students, incubator space and academic facilities.

Court Place Gardens is located next to the Norman church at Iffley, where there is currently a small number of graduate houses that were built in the 1970s. These will be replaced by 71 new houses arranged in three court yards and specifically designed for graduates with families. They will be very energy efficient, with air source heat pumps and play areas for children. The Grade II listed Mansion House will also be fully restored, with 13 study bedrooms and communal space, while the Gate Lodge will be renovated to offer three privately let bedrooms.

The scheme is due to complete and be ready for occupation for the 2024/5 academic year.

Anna Strongman, CEO of Oxford University Developments: “This is a fantastic milestone for the partnership and OUD as we see the first of our residential schemes be developed.  We are proud of the high quality design that responds to the beautiful landscape of the site and the sustainable merits of the scheme, such as its fossil fuel free nature.  The development of Court Place Gardens will play a key role in the city’s evolution, creating much-needed housing to allow the City to attain and retain talent and allowing Oxford University to retain its world-class status.”

Mike Coplowe, Senior Development Manager at Legal & General: “The development of Court Place Gardens marks the start of our residential ambitions with Oxford University, which is an essential first step towards creating more modern, affordable and sustainable accommodation for the University.

We are extremely proud of our partnership with the University, which will help retain talent in the city whilst providing the facilities for world-leading research and innovation, as well as much needed housing for key workers. By facilitating investment into the UK’s regional cities, we are creating a virtuous cycle whereby pensions and savings are used to create positive social, environmental and economic outcomes which are in line with our commitment to Inclusive Capitalism.”

Dr David Prout, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning & Resources) of Oxford University: “We are delighted that work at Court Place Gardens can now begin, replacing the site’s run-down 1970s housing with a superb new graduate community, built to the highest standards with exceptional environmental performance in keeping with the University’s ambitious sustainability targets. We look forward to working closely with L&G and OUD on this vital first step towards achieving our strategic goal of building at least 1,000 new units of graduate accommodation and 1,000 staff homes – something that will benefit the whole community by helping ease the pressure on Oxford’s housing market.”