More student flats set for approval as residents fret

The Oxford Times: Resident Keith Cunningham stands where the proposed block of flats is to be built Resident Keith Cunningham stands where the proposed block of flats is to be built

PLANS for more student flats in West Oxford are being backed by council officers despite the concerns of residents.

Officers at Oxford City Council have recommended that councillors approve Tariq Khuja’s bid to build nine student flats on land next to Thames Wharf in Roger Dudman Way.

The West area planning committee is due to meet at the town hall in St Aldate’s tomorrow at 6.30pm to make a decision on the plans.

The recommendation comes despite concerns of residents about Mr Khuja’s existing properties in the area, and the impact more student accommodation will have on Roger Dudman Way.

Keith Cunningham, 65, who lives in Roger Dudman Way, was worried that residents’ comments have not been listened to.

He said: “It is interesting that they have a planning process which invites people to make comments about whether a development is good or bad for an area and yet they have all been ignored.

“They have failed to take our views on board. They say it has good links with the rest of the city, but it does not.

“The road is not adequate and we understand there is going to be a huge development at the station.

“It is not going to get any better for the foreseeable future, and putting another development on this site, when his other one in the same street is not even finished, will add to the problem.

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“I am not saying it is right or wrong to build here, I am saying it is not the right time.”

In a report to councillors, planning officer Murray Hancock said: “The development relates to a small parcel of land, part of which only is intended to include the proposed building.

“This part of the site is brownfield land which is unsuited to other forms of residential use or other uses.

“Although the site is not allocated for student use, and does not fully meet all the locational requirements for new student accommodation, it is situated close to other developments of student accommodation.

“It can be considered as an annex to the 48 student study rooms nearing completion nearby by the same applicant.

“It has good cycle and pedestrian links, which would be enhanced by the new footbridge across the Fiddler’s Island Stream to the Thames Towpath and beyond.

“As such the development makes good and efficient use of the land.”

Mr Khuja was not available for comment.

Comments (4)

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7:38am Mon 9 Dec 13

Sophia says...

This is NOT 'set for approval'. We the people are going to STOP this land speculator who has no feeling at all for this country but just wants to make a quick profit out of destroying it
This is NOT 'set for approval'. We the people are going to STOP this land speculator who has no feeling at all for this country but just wants to make a quick profit out of destroying it Sophia

11:48am Tue 10 Dec 13

WaterIsLife says...

How very sad that so many people might have to pay yet again for the benefit of so very few. (Google 'Carbuncle Cup Nominations 2012').

There should be no further building on ANY waterway in Britain - water is polluted and precious enough as it is. There is Planning Policy law in place to protect waterways (and therefore also the lawfully protected species that rely on them), so if this development gets approval there will be further court cases as a result.
How very sad that so many people might have to pay yet again for the benefit of so very few. (Google 'Carbuncle Cup Nominations 2012'). There should be no further building on ANY waterway in Britain - water is polluted and precious enough as it is. There is Planning Policy law in place to protect waterways (and therefore also the lawfully protected species that rely on them), so if this development gets approval there will be further court cases as a result. WaterIsLife

7:13am Thu 12 Dec 13

Sophia says...

WE WON! A resounding NO to greedy land speculators
WE WON! A resounding NO to greedy land speculators Sophia

9:39am Thu 12 Dec 13

WaterIsLife says...

Yes, thankfully at least for the moment.

But sadly the development was largely refused on the grounds that it is not in an area approved for student housing, rather than for the much more important reason - of protecting the wonderful public amenity that Port Meadow is.

Perhaps even more shocking is how can the Planning Department got it SO wrong - to recommend approval and then have the Council almost unanimously disagree with their opinion ? How can the Planning Department now be seen as fit for purpose ?
Yes, thankfully at least for the moment. But sadly the development was largely refused on the grounds that it is not in an area approved for student housing, rather than for the much more important reason - of protecting the wonderful public amenity that Port Meadow is. Perhaps even more shocking is how can the Planning Department got it SO wrong - to recommend approval and then have the Council almost unanimously disagree with their opinion ? How can the Planning Department now be seen as fit for purpose ? WaterIsLife

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