High Street shop fronts will be revamped by Oxford college

All Souls College has put forward a planning application with Oxford City Council to upgrade 10-15 High Street.

At the moment 10, 11 and 12 High Street are vacant units, 13 is David Clulow, 14 is Caffe Nero and 15 is Whittards.

READ MORE: New Westgate Centre restaurant announces chip shop menu

Number 12 was formerly occupied by Pizza Hut and as part of the proposals will get its ground floor back.

There will be new rear extensions and an associated roof terrace, as well as internal refurbishment and alterations to provide work space for staff and Fellows, including seminar space and study rooms.

Oxford Mail: The All Souls College schemeThe college acquired the buildings in 2020 and 2021.

Shop fronts will be refurbished, and there will be improvements to passageways to the Covered Market.

The planning application from architects Wright & Wright says: “Oxford’s High Street features an array of buildings from different eras that coalesce to form a richly textured urban whole.

“Preserving the existing frontages maintains this historic ambience but there are still opportunities to improve the experience at street level.

“The High Street elevation will be cleaned, repaired and restored, and new, high-quality timber shop fronts will replace the existing, disparate, modern street frontages.

Oxford Mail: Shops in Oxford High Street“Contingent on agreement with Oxford City Council, which owns the Covered Market, the three passageways linking the market with the High Street will be refurbished and upgraded, with new gates and floor and wall finishes, while also enabling step-free access to the shop units.

“A secure, manned entrance to All Souls’ new academic accommodation will also have a presence on the High Street, providing an opportunity to showcase the College to the wider city.”

According to the planning application All Souls College is putting forward the scheme because space at the college itself has become limited in recent years.

Wright & Wright Architects added that the buildings are in a conservation area, and the site “encompasses an array of buildings from different eras, of varying levels of historical significance, including Grade II-listed structures”.

Oxford Mail: An entrance for the Covered MarketThe design statement says: “Their assorted facades form a visual concerto along the High Street, with the city’s famous Covered Market behind, connected to the High Street by a series of covered passageways.

“The site is considered part of Oxford’s historic core, some of which dates from the medieval period.”

The Covered Market is owned by the city council and this year is celebrating its 250th anniversary.

The city council is spending millions of pounds upgrading the market, including providing more spaces for shoppers to gather.

A new pedestrianised space with benches has now been provided in Market Street near one of the market entrances.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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