A SECOND bid to build homes on sports pitches and a car park near the new Tyndale Community School has been thrown out.

Councillors on Oxford City Council’s east area planning committee last night refused permission for 40 homes, 71 parking spaces and two new sports pitches on the former Lord Nuffield Club in William Morris Close, Cowley It comes after children had their first day at the neighbouring Tyndale Community School in the former club building. The refusal will come as a blow to the school, which could have taken on the running of the new pitches if this scheme had gone ahead.

Councillors made their decision after agreeing that the development would lead to the unacceptable loss of protected open space, despite the fact the fields are privately owned and not open to the public.

It was the second failed bid to build homes on the site by Cantay Estates, which has also appealed against the refusal of its initial plans for 43 homes in March. The decision came despite a last-minute attempt by the developer to sweeten the deal by offering £250,000 towards sports facilities and pledging to leave some green space untouched.

At the meeting, councillors were told that Cantay would be willing to make the concessions.

However, they were also told to judge the application purely as it had come to them.

Chairman Roy Darke said: “It seems to me that the £250,000 suggested contribution does change the parameters somewhat. But as the case officer has said, we have to evaluate the proposal based on what we have in front of us.”

Speaking at the meeting, resident Judith Harley said: “Such a development is contrary to the city council’s planning policies. It should not have reached this stage in the planning process.

“There will be unacceptable loss of protected open space, and the proposal is too dense, too bulky and un-neighbourly for this site.”