A VICTORIAN warehouse in East Oxford could be flattened and replaced with two semi-detached homes.

Developer Cantay Investments Ltd has resubmitted plans to build a pair of four-bedroom houses on the site of the Old Bookbinders, in Green Street after failing to get permission in March last year.

It has been trying to demolish the building since October 2011.

But Green Street resident Hilary Cave, 43, said that after trying to find support to save the building she was now more sympathetic towards the housing plan.

She said: “I live directly opposite to it so have a strong investment in trying to save it.

“The building has an interesting history, having been built in 1890 by the Oxford Tramways Company.

“I have been opposed to these plans, but as I understand it no one is coming forward to invest money to protect it.

“If it can’t continue to be used in its current state, then I understand the developer’s point of view.”

The development was previously refused by Oxford City Council because it would result in the loss of a “key protected employment site”.

Cantay Investments appealed against that decision but was overruled when it was upheld by the Planning Inspectorate.

Director of the Oxford Preservation Trust Debbie Dance said it was important to protect buildings like the bindery.

The Oxford Times:

Debbie Dance

She said: “Because they may not be grand, industrial buildings like these can be easily lost without people recognising their local significance.

“We are keen that this should not happen and where it does that they are fully recorded with photos and drawings and oral histories from those who remember working in them and the goods they made.

“Once these buildings are gone this chance is lost forever.”

The building, which is not listed,– stood empty for years before being given a send-off in March 2011.

Local well-wishers staged a host of ‘pop-up’ arts events with live music, food and dance.

These included shows by The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band and The Long Insiders.

Cantay Investments did not respond to requests for a comment.