MORE student housing could be built next to one of Oxford’s most controversial recent developments.
Plans have been submitted for a three-storey building with nine student flats in Roger Dudman Way, close to Castle Mill.
The Castle Mill scheme sparked uproar after it blocked off the views of Oxford’s dreaming spires from Port Meadow.
Oxford University has built accommodation for 312 graduate students over four and five storeys on former railway land near Oxford station.
Campaigners now want to see the buildings lowered by two storeys to restore views.
But the new student development will be on a smaller scale, which has been welcomed by those fighting Castle Mill.
Campaigner Sushila Dhall said: “I think three storeys along Roger Dudman Way is more reasonable, as long as it protects the views from Port Meadow.
“I think every building along Roger Dudman Way risks impacting on Port Meadow, and I would hope that this proposal is looked at with the utmost sensitivity.”
Sietske Boeles, of the Oxfordshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, felt the latest application is what Castle Mill should have been in terms of scale.
She said: “We are not against student accommodation. It takes students out of private houses and makes them available for families.
“The university should have kept its buildings at three or four storeys, so this is how it should have done it.”
The latest proposals also include a pedestrian footbridge to the Thames towpath and one disabled car parking space.
The applicant declined to comment.
But a statement submitted with the planning application says: “This proposal represents a sensible, well-balanced use of the site which positively responds to the context and is inclusive of the proposed footbridge at this location.”
At the moment the site is mostly empty and taken up by shingle stones, a few trees and thick riverbank flora which is unruly and unkempt. There is also a bin store for another development.