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College’s library extension recommended for approval
12:00pm Monday 21st May 2012 in Oxford
AN extension to an Oxford college’s library should be allowed despite concerns from conservation groups, a planning officer has said.
The Magdalen College scheme “forms an appropriate visual relationship” with the existing building, said Oxford City Council’s Angela Fettiplace.
The college says its existing 1850s library is no longer big enough. It was designed by John Chessell Buckler and used by Magdalen College School until it moved over the road in 1928. Sir Giles Gilbert Scott then refurbished the building to turn it into a library for the Oxford University college.
The extension will be set in a sunken landscape garden.
In its comments, the Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society said the plan would clash with the existing library. It added that the project would “obliterate an important phase in the building’s history”.
And the Victorian Society said the plan would “destroy the vertical character of the building”.
English Heritage said it was satisfied with the case to remodel the existing interior but evidence for the extension was “weak”.
A new cycle parking area would also be provided.
The council’s west area planning committee will make a decision when it meets on Wednesday at the Town Hall, in St Aldate’s, at 6pm. The meeting is open to the public.