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'Deeply concerned' about the scale of Cotuit Hall proposals
11:48am Thursday 28th June 2012 in Letters
As residents of North Oxford we were deeply concerned to read in The Oxford Times last week about the scale of the proposed development of Cotuit Hall on Pullens Lane.
When Oxford Brookes University owned the site, which is in a conservation area, it accommodated just over 100 students.
The development would turn the site into a sixth-form boarding school with 300 boarders, 108 day students, and teaching and support staff, all on a 1.14 hectare site.
There will be three-storey buildings on the side of the hill where they will tower over houses lower down.
Is it any wonder that local residents are hopping mad about these buildings which will be too large, too close and too visible to them?
How much thought has been given to what the residential students might want to do in the evenings?
It is not difficult to imagine the dread of local residents about the noise and disruption 300 sixth-formers might make right on their doorsteps.
If the students want to go into town they will have long walks to bus stops along single track, pot-holed, unlit roads with no pavements.
The roads aren’t the only problem in this area. There are also well-known problems with the old sewage pipes, which will only be exacerbated by an additional 300-350 residents.
Some people may argue that this development is a welcome contribution to the national economy.
But in fact the proposal has come from EF International, the world’s largest provider of international educational programmes according to their website.
EF is based in Switzerland, and their profits from the development of Cotuit Hall will not be taxable in the UK.
This proposal is nothing more than commercial exploitation of Oxford’s reputation for academic excellence by an overseas company to the detriment of one of the most beautiful areas in Oxford and its residents.
Adrian Sutton and Pat White, North Oxford