OXFORD University has said it is reconsidering certain aspects of its landmark humanities building because of the “massive” cost.

Work on the £40m library – which would complete the £200m Radcliffe Observatory Quarter – has been on hold for around two years.

The university already has planning permission for the building between Woodstock Road and Walton Street but Mike Wigg, its director of capital projects and property management, has revealed that it is thinking again about some aspects of it.

Addressing a meeting of the Jericho Community Association this week he said: “It is still the intention of the Humanities Division to occupy the space but the capital investment on that is massive and some of the ideas are under reconsideration.”

At the moment, the area where the humanities building should be is boarded up.

Once complete the building would include teaching, research and study space as well as two floors of library space and three large lecture theatres.