Plans for Oxford city centre life sciences hub revealed

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Beaver House was built in the 1970s

Plans to demolish two city centre buildings and replace them with a new science facility have been revealed.

A planning application has been submitted to Oxford City Council for the demolition of of Beaver House and 39 – 42 Hythe Bridge Street.

The proposal is to replace the two buildings with a new five-storey life sciences building.

42A Hythe Bridge Street will also be refurbished as part of the plans.

Plans also feature a public garden, café and a community space.

Real estate company Savills prepared the application on behalf of company Forge Bio GP 2.

Planning documents said the project aimed to transform the site into a facility “which offers flexible laboratory and office space.”

“Alongside new employment space, Bridge Labs will also deliver a variety of high-quality internal and external public spaces,” the documents said.

Google 39 - 42 and 42A Hythe Bridge StreetGoogle

39 – 42 and 42A Hythe Bridge Street are currently home to three restaurants

The documents added that the plans aimed to “create a new vibrant life sciences facility that is locally valued and world-renowned, building upon Oxford’s existing facilities and renown in the sector, and providing an inspirational place to work that promotes health, happiness and well-being.”

They also stated that the new “Bridge Labs” would be part of the Forge Knowledge Platform, which also has facilities in Cambridge and Stevenage.

Beaver House is currently occupied by office space, while 39 – 42 Hythe Bridge Street is occupied by two restaurants and a private educational facility.

42A Hythe Bridge Street is also currently a restaurant, and is identified as a locally important heritage asset.

The site is near Oxford’s train station, and next door to Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

Oxford City Council said a decision on the proposals would be made by its planning committee by the end of June.

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