Transforming our Site
Our major programme of investment will ensure that our students’ experience is second to none and that St Hilda’s will continue to be a College in a garden with a beautiful river frontage and uplifting views.
By transforming our site, we intend to improve and increase our student accommodation, so that St Hilda’s students can enjoy the same advantages as their counterparts at other Oxford colleges. Preparatory work for the new buildings began on 7 August 2018. Our temporary Porters' Lodge is in place on South Lawn and is being fitted internally. We hope that our Lodge Team will in their new short-term home by the end of August. We anticipate that preparatory work for our new Middle Common Room will begin in September 2018.
We began discussions about the development of our site in 2015. Since then, we have consulted widely with the full range of stakeholders, including our neighbouring colleges. We displayed our plans for transforming our site at our public exhibition on 19 and 20 May 2017 in the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building Foyer. This provided an opportunity to see how our plans have developed since their inception and to ask questions of us and of representatives from architects, Gort Scott, before we met with Oxford Design Panel Review. The project received positive support at this meeting on 25 May 2017. We made further presentations to our Senior Members and friends of the College on 24 June, and again at our Gaudy on 16 September 2017.
We have also worked closely with members of Oxford Design Review Panel, Historic England and the Environment Agency as our plans have developed. Historic England concluded that, ‘the design of the new buildings has been refined during the pre-application process and is now an elegant and attractive set of buildings, which is well adapted to its context' (20 October 2017).
We submitted our planning application in the Autumn of 2017, following a summer of design refinement and collation of all necessary supporting documentation.
Oxford City Council West Area Planning Committee, Tuesday 13 March 2018, 6pm
The Oxford City Planning Committee West considered St Hilda’s planning application on 13 March 2018. The scheme was complimented by several members of the Committee during a detailed discussion. It was substantively approved at the meeting, subject to later approval from the Committee in relation to certain design details.
We thank the Committee for their encouraging words and all members and friends of St Hilda’s for their support.
We're excited by the possibilities offered by the new graduate common room. An expanded, more versatile area in the front-of-college building will give new opportunities for combined social, meeting and study spaces, enhancing graduate students' experience at the heart of the College's activities.
The opportunity for more students to live on site will greatly enrich college life and help enhance the sense of community between all of St Hilda's College members. The new social spaces will open up new possibilities for events and projects, encouraging students to thrive in all aspects of their university experience.
Oxford has become one of the least affordable cities in the UK for housing... a College room can be as effective as a bursary, saving a student more than £1,000 over an academic year.