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OUP expansion plans approved despite concerns
9:50am Thursday 14th June 2012 in News
THE expansion of the Oxford University Press building in Walton Street has been given the go-ahead despite heritage concerns.
It took just 15 minutes for members of Oxford City Council’s west area committee to agree the proposal in principle at a meeting last night, subject to a legal agreement.
The OUP says demolishing one of the wings of the Grade II-listed building and constructing a new three-storey wing will help the firm find space for its staff.
The building straddles two conservation areas – the Jericho Conservation Area and the Central City and University Conservation Area. As part of the scheme the C wing and two neighbouring houses will be demolished and replaced with a carbon neutral three-storey building.
Concerns had been raised about the impact of the development on Jericho, though no objectors spoke against the proposal at last night’s meeting.
Previously, David McKinstry of the Georgian Group said: “We are concerned by the deterioration of the Walton Street part of the Jericho and Walton Manor Conservation Areas.
“The new Jericho Health Centre and the works to the former Radcliffe Infirmary site have damaged the historical character.”
Council officers said the issues they raised were not “sustainable reasons for refusing the development”.
They added that the development would “enhance the character and appearance” of the two conservation areas it sat in.
A legal agreement will have to be drawn up before work can begin, but this and listed building consent will be dealt with by council officers, so the application is not expected to return to committee.