Dorothy Wadham Building

Building a better future for its students Wadham College has developed a site on Iffley Road to create 135 student bedrooms.

Wadham has constructed a 135 bedroom development, the dorothy Wadham Building, providing homes for second year students who are now in residence.

Planning permission was approved for the development of Wadham College’s Iffley Road site at a meeting of Oxford City Council on Tuesday 24 January, 2017. The site was formerly home to a Volkswagen car showroom and garage, with frontage onto Percy Street, Charles Street and the Iffley Road.

Alert: Road closures and pedestrian circulation

As this project approaches completion, a number of works will need to be carried out which will encroach on the public highway and/or the pavement. The contractor must apply to the Council, who will consider the wider picture of traffic and other works in the area and then decide the periods for road closure.

Our current understanding is as follows:

• From early July until the end of the project, various areas of pavement around the Wadham site will be closed for periods as hoardings are removed, temporary Heras fencing is erected, trees are planted, pavements are repaired and exterior garden walls are constructed. Dates of this are not yet known.

What will it look like?

The Dorothy Wadham Building is designed to blend with other buildings in the local area in terms of external appearance and materials used. Student accommodation will be car-free and bicycle storage will be located at the rear of the site.

In addition to a porters lodge at the entrance, the gated Dorothy Wadham building will have CCTV, a resident site manager and a Sub Dean to ensure that the College’s code of behaviour, high standards and excellent reputation are maintained at all times.

The site will have an attractive internal courtyard garden, a garden room/TV lounge, a computer room and laundry room. Single occupancy ensuite bedrooms will be built in clusters with shared kitchen/dining areas. The site and buildings and eight bedrooms will be fully accessible for students with disabilities. 


Since the project was first conceived, Wadham College has been carrying out extensive consultation with local residents. Regular community liaison meeting have taken place at the Gladiator Club on the corner of Percy Street and Iffley Road. Current students have also taken an active part in the consultation process. Wadham College thanks all those who have assisted and provided valuable feedback on our plans.

Neighbours are welcome to attend an open afternoon on Friday 4 October at the Dorothy Wadham site.

Gilbert-Ash has been appointed to carry out construction works and will be providing local residents with progress updates (see below). If you would like to receive emailed updates and invitations to meetings about this development please click here to let us know.

Community engagement
With help from local schools and organisations we are decorating the hoardings around the Iffley Road site. More. If you would like to get involved in our hoarding decoration project, please contact Julia Banfield

Friends of Iffley Road
Friends of Iffley Road is a group of neighbours to the Iffley Road site which has formed as a consultative group regarding the planning, demolition and building of the Dorothy Wadham Building. Friends of Iffley Road has members from the local residents' associations (IRARA and IFRA).


The timeline for redevelopment, including asbestos removal, demolition, decontamination of the site and subsoil, construction and commissioning will take two and a half years and commenced in March 2017 so that the building is ready for the start of term in October 2019.

The Dorothy Wadham Building's energy efficiency strategy aligns with the Oxford Planning policies for low energy design. Furniture from the existing building has been donated to local charities and materials are being recycled when possible.


In line with the Construction Traffic Management Plan every effort will be made to reduce disturbance from the site. The use of high quality construction materials will ensure that the new building has good acoustics and noise levels within the new building are as low as possible.


Following demolition works by Beard construction, Gilbert-Ash construction started on site in October 2017. Further information

Information for students

Building schedules permitting, Wadham hopes to offer undergraduates starting in 2018 and beyond, accommodation in College owned sites during the standard length of their course. First year students will be housed at the main site in Parks Road, second years will be located at Iffley Road (from 2019) and final years will return to the College site or be based at Merifield in Summertown.

Virtual building tour

Rents will include heating, electricity, water, wifi and insurance (though a charge for utility usage may be separated out to encourage efficient usage) as well as top-up cleaning.  Rents will be payable in instalments and the date each instalment is due will be included in the offer of accommodation.  Rents will be payable in various ways including online, bank transfer, credit/debit card, or cheque.  The rents for the first year of occupation will be published on the College’s website by the end of Trinity Term 2019.  Our current accommodation charges can be found here.

The Student Accommodation Code of Practice
This building will be included in the list of College-owned accommodation signed up to the Student Accommodation Code of Practice which protects students’ rights to safe, good quality accommodation.  More information on the code can be found at

Local facilities

The Dorothy Wadham in Iffley Road is a 25 minute walk or ten minute cycle ride from the Wadham College site in Parks Road. Bus stops into town are located nearby. It is a short (seven minute) walk to the Cowley Road. The University of Oxford Sports Ground is located near the site in Iffley Road and the Pegasus Theatre is just round the corner in Magdalen Road. Local facilities include pubs, a cafe, bicycle shop and local shops. 

An artist's impression of an Iffley Road student bedroom

Who is involved?

Architects: Allies and Morrison
Builders: Gilbert-Ash
Demolition: Beard Construction
Project Managers: Bidwells
Planning consultant: Carter Jonas

The site was home to a car showroom and garage, with frontage onto Percy Street, Charles Street and the Iffley Road.

The building became a temporary home for Iffley Open House homeless group during the winter of 2017.

Planning permission was approved for the development of Wadham College’s Iffley Road site at a meeting of Oxford City Council on Tuesday 24 January, 2017.


Construction sites can be dangerous. Our priority is the health and safety of everyone who works on this site, as well as the public and the local community affected by it. If you need to contact Beard Construction or Wadham College, please ring us or email but do not enter the site. 

Please make any children in your care aware that the building site is not a playground and they must not enter.

During demolition and construction our contractors will try to work in a way that causes as little inconvenience as possible to neighbours. We apologise for any unavoidable nuisance that may be caused during the work.

Useful contacts

Wadham College: Julia Banfield
Project Managers, Bidwells: David Jobbins
Gilbert-Ash site manager: Sam Clingen 079 7392 7408 
Friends of Iffley Road residents group: