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Oxford Student Scheme Faces Opposition from Neighbours

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Neighbours have reacted angrily over plans by an Oxford college to build student accommodation on conservation land overlooking a historic cemetery and deer park.

The site is owned by Merton College and is subject to a planning inquiry, after proposals were rejected by the city council last year.

Developers McLaren Property are looking to build a 286-bed scheme on the banks of the River Cherwell and close to Grade 2 listing buildings, a conservation area and Magdalen deer park.

Those against the development argued it has "little architectural merit" and that its height, mass and capacity would negatively impact the surrounding area.

Since the planning application was submitted in 2015, the project has been fought by other colleges, including Magdalen and St Catherine's, the Oxford preservation trust and local residents.

Oxford city council planning officers initially rejected the scheme as they thought it "would not preserve the special sense of place that exists currently".

A public inquiry into the plans closed in September and a decision is expected early next month.