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Art school puts councillor back in the picture
OXFORD University has apologised to a city councillor for not inviting him to a consultation about a new art school in East Oxford.
In June the university held a public consultation about its plans to demolish and rebuild the Ruskin School of Art buildings in Bullingdon Road.
But Craig Simmons, who represents St Mary’s on the city council, was not contacted by the university and knew nothing about the event.
University spokesman Matt Pickles said: “The university hired a planning consultant who worked with city council planners to draw up a list of consultees, and unfortunately Cllr Simmons was omitted from this list.
“We have apologised to Cllr Simmons and invited him to meet the project manager and architect at a mutually convenient time.
“We do not expect the application to be considered by councillors in the next three months and we will be happy to discuss our plans for the building with interested parties during that time.”
If the planning application to Oxford City Council is approved, the university will demolish the existing buildings and replace them with a modern one designed to fit in with the surrounding residential area.
It will almost double the space available on the site, which will be used for workshops, studios, office space and seminar rooms.
Earlier this week, Cllr Simmons said: “The site has been ripe for redevelopment but I need to look at the plans in detail to understand what the issues and concerns will be.”
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