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674-bed Oxford Development Receives Strong Criticism

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Plans for a 674-bed student accommodation and retail scheme in Oxford have been labelled as a catastrophe after developers revealed their plans for the first time.

Local residents and councillors spoke out as plans for a major development on the 3.9 acre Cowley Barracks site in Oxford were put on display.

Developers revealed that to tackle potential traffic issues, Oxford Brookes University students would not be allowed to have cars while studying, however councillors argued this was unenforceable.

In particular they referred to Slade Park, which was supposed to be car-free but Oxford Brookes wasn't able to enforce the rules meaning people still had cars.

Councillor Liz Brighouse said: "The road infrastructure just can't support this level of development. We can't take any more development that's going to bring more traffic to the area.

"People are having real problems here because the roads are just swamped with traffic. I will be fighting against it. What we need here is affordable family housing, not student housing."

Developers argued that the scheme would meet a clear demand for additional student housing. In regards to the concerns over parking, developers BT said it would be treated like a tenancy agreement, and that students could be removed if they were found to be in breach of the rules.