Plans to create further student accommodation in Oxford have been submitted and could see additional housing built next to a controversial development. A three storey building containing nine student flats is hoped to receive approval at Roger Dudman Way, Oxford Mail reported. However, this is located next to Castle Mill, a scheme that caused uproar for blocking views of Oxford's spires from Port Meadow.
Standing four and five storeys, Castle Mill offers accommodation for 312 graduate students near Oxford station. Campaigners want to see the building lowered by two storeys to restore views. However, the new plans haven't received the objections met by Castle Mill, with those against the original development pleased the new plans are for a smaller scale property, according to the newspaper.
Campaigner Sushila Dhall said: "I think three storeys along Roger Dudman Way is more reasonable, as long as it protects the views from Port Meadow. I think every building along Roger Dudman Way risks impacting on Port Meadow, and I would hope that this proposal is looked at with the utmost sensitivity."
Sietske Boeles, of the Oxfordshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, explained to Oxford Mail that the new plans are a model for what Castle Mill should have been. She explained that people aren't against more student accommodation in the city, as this takes them out of private houses that can then be used by families. However, plans must be sensitive to the aesthetic integrity of the historical city.
The UK currently suffers from a shortage of new student accommodation and developers are increasingly realising the potential latent in the sector. In addition to the construction of new units, many old buildings are being transformed by investors. Consequently, there is an emphasis in many parts of the country on conserving historic elements of a structure. In Tottenham, plans to turn a rundown nightclub into student accommodation have recently been approved. The 19th century Italianate facade will be restored in the redevelopment, with the new block built behind it.
- Wednesday 10 April 2013