Campaigners target Prince Charles visit

The Oxford Times: Port Meadow campaigners in front of the controversial buildings. From left, Richard Luff, Sietske Boeles, Toby Porter and Rhian Jones Port Meadow campaigners in front of the controversial buildings. From left, Richard Luff, Sietske Boeles, Toby Porter and Rhian Jones

TAXPAYERS could be left with a bill of more than a million pounds if permission for controversial student blocks on Oxford’s Port Meadow is revoked, it was warned last night.

Protesters, who are planning to lobby Prince Charles during his visit to Oxford on Monday, say the flats should never have been allowed and claim they spoil views from Port Meadow.

They want building work to be stopped and the height of the buildings reduced.

But in a new report, planning officers say there is “no evidence” that the development breaks planning conditions.

It warned the compensation claim could amount to more than £1m if the council revoked the permission and that it would not prevent Oxford University from applying again.

Head of planning Michael Crofton-Briggs said: “There is no evidence that the development is being constructed other than in compliance with the planning permission, or that any other breach of planning control has taken place.”

Protesters are determined to bring the issue to the attention of the Prince Charles who is renowned for his forthright views on “brutal architecture”.

Campaigners have already contacted Clarence House to alert the Prince before his visit about the student accommodation blocks nearing completion in Roger Dudman Way.

But they will seek to cause maximum embarrassment with demonstrations and banners calling on the university to lower the height of the blocks by two storeys.

With 1,700 people having signed an on-line petition, the Port Meadow campaigners are this week applying further pressure by writing to university donors, spelling out levels of anger about the four and five storey Castle Mill scheme, providing 312 student rooms.

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Campaign organiser Toby Porter said: ”Given that Prince Charles has always spoken out about the kind of impact of this kind of ill-thought out architecture on cherished spaces, we are looking at ways of making him aware of the controversy during the visit.”

The Prince is scheduled to visit the Said Business School, just 800m from the accommodation blocks, and to the church of St John the Evangelist in Iffley Road.

Oxford University spokesman, Matt Pickles, said: “We recognise the campaign and the strength of feeling around the development.

“Castle Mill will reduce the burden on Oxford’s rental market by providing accommodation to hundreds of students.”

On Thursday, February 7, the city council’s West Area Planning Committee will review options open to the council in the face of public concern.

Clarence House yesterday declined to comment.

Comments (13)

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10:40am Fri 1 Feb 13

xjohnx says...

Its so easy to be 'against' things.

I don't think so much energy goes into being 'for' things.

Is it a nimby thing?
Its so easy to be 'against' things. I don't think so much energy goes into being 'for' things. Is it a nimby thing? xjohnx
  • Score: 0

11:23am Fri 1 Feb 13

Grunden Skip says...

But they will seek to cause maximum embarrassment with demonstrations and banners calling on the university to lower the height of the blocks by two storeys.

Embarrass Who? Certainly not The University who have been through this many times before, and has skin thicker than a Rhino's. Also I wonder how many of those "protesters" have benefited from a Uni education, provided by establishments who have done exactly the same thing all over the country. Anyway why all the fuss in 30 years time when the wealthy newbies of Jericho have finally forced out the last local and taken over all of the houses, Port Meadow will become one big Gated housing Estate to accommodate all of their little Henry's and Henrietta's who will be requiring houses
But they will seek to cause maximum embarrassment with demonstrations and banners calling on the university to lower the height of the blocks by two storeys. Embarrass Who? Certainly not The University who have been through this many times before, and has skin thicker than a Rhino's. Also I wonder how many of those "protesters" have benefited from a Uni education, provided by establishments who have done exactly the same thing all over the country. Anyway why all the fuss in 30 years time when the wealthy newbies of Jericho have finally forced out the last local and taken over all of the houses, Port Meadow will become one big Gated housing Estate to accommodate all of their little Henry's and Henrietta's who will be requiring houses Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

12:05pm Fri 1 Feb 13

oafie says...

Absolutely Grundon Skip.
Absolutely Grundon Skip. oafie
  • Score: 0

12:08pm Fri 1 Feb 13

oafie says...

Oxford University spokesman, Matt Pickles, said: “We recognise the campaign and the strength of feeling around the development.

“Castle Mill will reduce the burden on Oxford’s rental market by providing accommodation to hundreds of students.”


And just what happened to the 'any expansion of university student accommodation' should be within their exisiting grounds........
Oxford University spokesman, Matt Pickles, said: “We recognise the campaign and the strength of feeling around the development. “Castle Mill will reduce the burden on Oxford’s rental market by providing accommodation to hundreds of students.” And just what happened to the 'any expansion of university student accommodation' should be within their exisiting grounds........ oafie
  • Score: 0

12:12pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Toby Porter says...

that would be the same Michael Crofton-Briggs

i) whose department not only completely missed the impact of the development from Port Meadow, encouraged the University to submit news plans of 5 storeys rather than 3 storeys, and also managed to steward a planning approval process for one of the most controversial and sensitive developments in Oxford for years without local residents and Port Meadow users ever being aware there was a planning application under consultation until these ugly buildings started to go up....

ii) who authored the report in question

iii) whose professional position must already be pretty precarious, and would become effectively untenable if Councillors revoke Planning Permission at the special meeting at the Town Hall on Feb 7th, 6pm

For a more balanced view......please follow the Campaign to Protect Port Meadow from Oxford University on Facebook for regular updates and to make your protests heard




"Head of planning Michael Crofton-Briggs said: “There is no evidence that the development is being constructed other than in compliance with the planning permission, or that any other breach of planning control has taken place.”
that would be the same Michael Crofton-Briggs i) whose department not only completely missed the impact of the development from Port Meadow, encouraged the University to submit news plans of 5 storeys rather than 3 storeys, and also managed to steward a planning approval process for one of the most controversial and sensitive developments in Oxford for years without local residents and Port Meadow users ever being aware there was a planning application under consultation until these ugly buildings started to go up.... ii) who authored the report in question iii) whose professional position must already be pretty precarious, and would become effectively untenable if Councillors revoke Planning Permission at the special meeting at the Town Hall on Feb 7th, 6pm For a more balanced view......please follow the Campaign to Protect Port Meadow from Oxford University on Facebook for regular updates and to make your protests heard "Head of planning Michael Crofton-Briggs said: “There is no evidence that the development is being constructed other than in compliance with the planning permission, or that any other breach of planning control has taken place.” Toby Porter
  • Score: 1

12:24pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Grunden Skip says...

Toby Porter wrote:
that would be the same Michael Crofton-Briggs

i) whose department not only completely missed the impact of the development from Port Meadow, encouraged the University to submit news plans of 5 storeys rather than 3 storeys, and also managed to steward a planning approval process for one of the most controversial and sensitive developments in Oxford for years without local residents and Port Meadow users ever being aware there was a planning application under consultation until these ugly buildings started to go up....

ii) who authored the report in question

iii) whose professional position must already be pretty precarious, and would become effectively untenable if Councillors revoke Planning Permission at the special meeting at the Town Hall on Feb 7th, 6pm

For a more balanced view......please follow the Campaign to Protect Port Meadow from Oxford University on Facebook for regular updates and to make your protests heard




"Head of planning Michael Crofton-Briggs said: “There is no evidence that the development is being constructed other than in compliance with the planning permission, or that any other breach of planning control has taken place.”
Toby I find it far more of a disgrace that people that have lived in Jericho all of their lives, as did their Parents and Grandparents, are now being forced out because of people like you that can pay £400,000 for a two up two down. Look at pictures of Jericho from the 50s when there was a community there, they are all hard working souls, many of them doing 12 hour shifts at OUP before it was closed down and the workers sacked, with the books being sent to Hong Kong on tape to be printed and bound. I care for a community that has been destroyed by the likes of you, not a few flats that overlook Port Meadow, no harm has been done there at all.
[quote][p][bold]Toby Porter[/bold] wrote: that would be the same Michael Crofton-Briggs i) whose department not only completely missed the impact of the development from Port Meadow, encouraged the University to submit news plans of 5 storeys rather than 3 storeys, and also managed to steward a planning approval process for one of the most controversial and sensitive developments in Oxford for years without local residents and Port Meadow users ever being aware there was a planning application under consultation until these ugly buildings started to go up.... ii) who authored the report in question iii) whose professional position must already be pretty precarious, and would become effectively untenable if Councillors revoke Planning Permission at the special meeting at the Town Hall on Feb 7th, 6pm For a more balanced view......please follow the Campaign to Protect Port Meadow from Oxford University on Facebook for regular updates and to make your protests heard "Head of planning Michael Crofton-Briggs said: “There is no evidence that the development is being constructed other than in compliance with the planning permission, or that any other breach of planning control has taken place.”[/p][/quote]Toby I find it far more of a disgrace that people that have lived in Jericho all of their lives, as did their Parents and Grandparents, are now being forced out because of people like you that can pay £400,000 for a two up two down. Look at pictures of Jericho from the 50s when there was a community there, they are all hard working souls, many of them doing 12 hour shifts at OUP before it was closed down and the workers sacked, with the books being sent to Hong Kong on tape to be printed and bound. I care for a community that has been destroyed by the likes of you, not a few flats that overlook Port Meadow, no harm has been done there at all. Grunden Skip
  • Score: -1

2:16pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Christine Hovis says...

The City's development is being hampered by people who want to be able to stand all around it and pretend that it's the Eighteenth Century. If people want Oxford as a museum, then we should get the Chinese to build a new one outside Shanghai and then we can get on with some simple things that the city needs, like housing.
The City's development is being hampered by people who want to be able to stand all around it and pretend that it's the Eighteenth Century. If people want Oxford as a museum, then we should get the Chinese to build a new one outside Shanghai and then we can get on with some simple things that the city needs, like housing. Christine Hovis
  • Score: -1

2:19pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Abartonresident says...

Until Oxford is totally covered with student accommodation, the council will not rest. Permanent residents are of no interest, until election time.
Until Oxford is totally covered with student accommodation, the council will not rest. Permanent residents are of no interest, until election time. Abartonresident
  • Score: 0

4:42pm Fri 1 Feb 13

xjohnx says...

Students and the colleges have been the making of this city.

Without the income from students, Oxford would be a sink of poverty and unemployment.
Students and the colleges have been the making of this city. Without the income from students, Oxford would be a sink of poverty and unemployment. xjohnx
  • Score: 0

4:52pm Fri 1 Feb 13

oafie says...

Absolutely........do they get extra money for students to cover council taxes?.........or is it just that 'special relationship the council have with the university'.........
certainly Brookes do not have the same results when they want to expand.

There are plenty of houses in jericho that have been kept on by students and then subletted by them again, and again.....Agents like Nops fuel the students behaviour, they were keen to have 'people pods' put in people's back gardens to house even more students......still with the Tories and the council soon just the very well off will even be in Oxford........being served on by the few remaining businesses.....
Absolutely........do they get extra money for students to cover council taxes?.........or is it just that 'special relationship the council have with the university'......... certainly Brookes do not have the same results when they want to expand. There are plenty of houses in jericho that have been kept on by students and then subletted by them again, and again.....Agents like Nops fuel the students behaviour, they were keen to have 'people pods' put in people's back gardens to house even more students......still with the Tories and the council soon just the very well off will even be in Oxford........being served on by the few remaining businesses..... oafie
  • Score: 0

11:02pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

This is what happens when you give campaigners what they want, they are left bored and move onto something else to whine about...

Bring Fuzzy Ducks back to East Oxford to refocus their attention.

Repatriating some parking spaces on Divinity Road to commuter parking may also gird their loins for more local affairs.
This is what happens when you give campaigners what they want, they are left bored and move onto something else to whine about... Bring Fuzzy Ducks back to East Oxford to refocus their attention. Repatriating some parking spaces on Divinity Road to commuter parking may also gird their loins for more local affairs. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

4:21pm Sat 2 Feb 13

Rhian Jones says...

The University is responsible for some of the most beautiful and the most hideous buildings in the City! Students need accommodation, I agree. So do residents. We all though have a stake in the way Oxford develops and have responsibility to protect its history.

I am horrified by this development that has destroyed the views from Port Meadow, a Scheduled National Monument. There was no effective consultation or debate and no environmental impact assessment. The requirement of the developers of the old Lucy's site was to build no higher than the tree line. These new buildings are very evidently taller. Does this mean there is a 2-tiered planning process in place? What happened to allow the University's buildings to be so dense, so high and so invasive?

The consultation process prior to the redevelopment of Cowley Road was impressive! Debate and dialogue strengthens engagement and enhances decision making. Why have so few people had the chance to help the University resolve the challenge of building more accommodation in a way that does not damage the beauty of the City's heritage or its fragile ecosystem? Was there minimal consultation because the planners and University knew the development would be so controversial?

The development is too high! Decision makers need to review their decision now!
The University is responsible for some of the most beautiful and the most hideous buildings in the City! Students need accommodation, I agree. So do residents. We all though have a stake in the way Oxford develops and have responsibility to protect its history. I am horrified by this development that has destroyed the views from Port Meadow, a Scheduled National Monument. There was no effective consultation or debate and no environmental impact assessment. The requirement of the developers of the old Lucy's site was to build no higher than the tree line. These new buildings are very evidently taller. Does this mean there is a 2-tiered planning process in place? What happened to allow the University's buildings to be so dense, so high and so invasive? The consultation process prior to the redevelopment of Cowley Road was impressive! Debate and dialogue strengthens engagement and enhances decision making. Why have so few people had the chance to help the University resolve the challenge of building more accommodation in a way that does not damage the beauty of the City's heritage or its fragile ecosystem? Was there minimal consultation because the planners and University knew the development would be so controversial? The development is too high! Decision makers need to review their decision now! Rhian Jones
  • Score: 0

3:21am Sun 3 Feb 13

Grunden Skip says...

The consultation process prior to the redevelopment of Cowley Road was impressive! Debate and dialogue strengthens engagement and enhances decision making.

RHIAN, if the consultation and decision making process on the redevelopment of Cowley Road is a model to look at, then it should be thrown in the bin. All we have on Cowley Road now is a continual traffic jam from 7am till 1am due to the awful road design that does not allow traffic to pass any stopped vehicle, and causes tailbacks from the bus stops in both directions for a mile. But that is the result of consulting people that have no idea, and them implementing it.
The consultation process prior to the redevelopment of Cowley Road was impressive! Debate and dialogue strengthens engagement and enhances decision making. RHIAN, if the consultation and decision making process on the redevelopment of Cowley Road is a model to look at, then it should be thrown in the bin. All we have on Cowley Road now is a continual traffic jam from 7am till 1am due to the awful road design that does not allow traffic to pass any stopped vehicle, and causes tailbacks from the bus stops in both directions for a mile. But that is the result of consulting people that have no idea, and them implementing it. Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

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