Since September 2023, the College has restricted access to various areas within the College due to the presence of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in the College’s roof structures, principally the original Arne Jacobsen site. This included the Kitchen, Dining Hall, JCR, SCR, Administration Block, Wolfson Library, the Bernard Sunley Building and the top floor of the Accommodation Blocks Staircases 1 to 16.

St Catherine’s College is pleased to announce that it has submitted the Planning and Listed Building Consent Application to address the use of RAAC in several of its Grade I listed buildings.

What solution is being proposed?


The Planning and Listed Building Consent Application, which was developed after an extensive pre-application process with Oxford City Council, Historic England, Twentieth Century Society and the Historic Parks and Gardens Trust, proposes the replacement of the affected roof structures to ensure the longevity of the College site by mitigating harm and preserving its iconic Jacobsen design.

The proposed remediation plan would begin with the Kitchen, JCR, SCR, Dining Hall, followed by the Bernard Sunley Building and Library, all forming the initial phase of the project, with works scheduled to commence in August, subject to Listed Building Consent and planning permission. A second application will follow to address remediation of the Accommodation blocks.

To read the specifics of the proposals, please see the Design and Access Statement and Heritage Statement.

The applications are available to read on the Oxford City Council planning portal:

24/01326/FUL | Alterations to roof and associated internal and external works including partial replacement of glazing, roof plant and refurbishments

24/01327/LBC | Alterations to roof and associated internal and external works including partial replacement of glazing, roof plant and refurbishments. Upgrade to mechanical and electrical services on the Bernard Sunley Building, Library, JCR, SCR and Dining Hall. Associated landscaping repairs and biodiversity enhancements

What is the timeline for proposed works?


From the point of submission, it is expected that the planning permission will take 8 weeks to be granted. We hope to begin works shortly after that.

Who is involved?


The project has gone through a robust planning process involving many partners. These include:

Project Manager and Cost Consultant: AtkinsRéalis
Architect: Oxford Architects
Consultant Architect to the College: Pendery Architecture & Heritage
Planning and Heritage Consultant: Edgars
Landscape Architect: Colvin & Mogridge
Services Engineer: Ingleton Wood
Structural Engineer: AKS Ward
Kitchen Designer: Bentley Consulting
Ecology Consultant: MKA Ecology
Aboricultural Consultant: Tree Frontiers
Building Contractors: Beard Construction
Oxford City Council
Historic England
Twentieth Century Society
The Historic Parks and Gardens Trust
St Catherine’s College Governing Body

Is College still open?


Yes, St Catherine’s College is still open as a functioning, lively college thanks to the hard work of our on-site teams. We have installed a number of temporary structures, including a Dining Hall, Lecture Theatre and Seminar Suites and JCR, alongside conducting extensive remedial work to keep our iconic staircases open.

What can I do to help?


The College will soon be announcing a major capital campaign to address the costs of the remediation project. For more information, or to discuss opportunities to support the campaign and associated naming opportunities, please contact Director of Development, Anna Fowler:

last updated 10 June, 2024