MHCLG Minister Robert Jenrick announced yesterday [NH1] he is forcing South Oxfordshire District Council (DODC) to adopt its Local Plan by December 2020 - or face the consequences. Nigel Hawkey, Planning Partner in Bidwells’ Oxford office, looks at the implications.
Oxford office demand reached a record high in 2019, shrugging off economic and political uncertainty. Bidwells' latest research reveals a fall in the Oxford office availability rate to 7% and 1.1 million sq ft of requirements, pushing prime rents to a new record high.
Oxford faces a record level of 1.1 million sq ft of office space requirements going into the new decade. Despite a challenging year from a wider economic and political front, the market saw take-up pick up towards the year end, comforted by greater certainty.
The early days of the general election campaign saw several overdue announcements in support of science and technology research. But places like Cambridge and Oxford played a bit part in the national debate...
Combined office and laboratory take-up exceeded 0.8 million sq ft in 2019, the highest total since the record highs recorded in 2014/15 when AstraZeneca agreed its new global HQ and R&D centre space adjacent to Addenbrookes hospital on Cambridge Science Park.
Bidwells has released its Spring 2020 Cambridgeshire offices and laboratories research, which shows a strong year for the city, with take-up well ahead of ten year average at 0.8m sq ft - the highest total since the record highs recorded in 2014/15.
The first half of 2019 saw take-up in Milton Keynes already exceed that achieved in 2018 as a whole, helped in part by Amazon’s pre-let of Altitude at Magna Park. Overall, 1.1m sq ft were let in Milton Keynes over the last six months, pushing down the availability rate to 7%.
Oxford and Cambridge’s knowledge economies are both global successes, but their economic growth stories are now at critical junctures. The city’s constrained centres are pushing prime rents up to new highs at a time when their world-leading science and tech occupiers are demanding urban environments and easy access to London.
At the end of 2018, Bidwells, together with Estates Gazette (EG), hosted the inaugural Oxford-Cambridge Arc conference, just two years after the initiative was first formally supported by government in the Budget.