Oxford North: Site where worker fell to death reaches milestone

Oxford North Ventures Three large steel structures with three cranes in front of themOxford North Ventures

The buildings are part of the development’s first phase

The highest point of construction on the first part of a £700m development has been reached – months after a man fell to his death at the site.

Oxford North “topped out” its first phase after a cantilever roof was placed on Red Hall – one of its landmark buildings.

A two-acre central park and market square, along with Red Hall and two laboratory buildings, are expected to be completed in 2025.

The death of construction worker Amarpreet Bhatti at the site in December 2023 is still being investigated.

Family Handout Amarpreet BhattiFamily Handout

Amarpreet Bhatti died at the site in December

Thames Valley Police is leading the investigation alongside the Health and Safety Executive.

At the time of the incident, construction company Laing O’Rourke said it was cooperating with investigations.

Oxford North Ventures is behind the development – a joint enterprise between Thomas White Oxford, the development company of St John’s College and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan with Stanhope.

David Camp, chief executive of Stanhope said: “Our ‘topping out’ is a significant milestone for delivering Oxford’s new innovation district.

“We are building a new sustainable district for Oxford, purposefully designed to enable the next century of life-changing discoveries in science and technology.”

Developers said work on the “innovation district” had so far created more than a thousand jobs, including 22 new apprenticeships.

Oxford North Ventures Artist mock up of three large buildings with a green space in the foregroundOxford North Ventures

The site is based on 64 acres of land within Oxford city’s northern boundary

They also announced that the new park and market square will be named after former University of Oxford academic Professor Elizabeth Fallaize.

Victoria Collett, development director at Thomas White Oxford, said: “Generations of undergraduate and graduate students benefited from Professor Fallaize’s teaching and scholarship.

“Today we are proud that her spirit will live on at Oxford North.”

Once completed, the development will contain one million sq ft (92,903 sq m) of laboratories and workspaces, alongside 480 new homes.

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