SAID Business School's £60m plan to renovate Oxford's Old Power Station into a world class business education centre has been approved.

City councillors had been asked to approve the plan to create the new Global Leadership Centre at a meeting in July – but told the school to clarify details.

The application was brought back on Tuesday and was unanimously approved by councillors.

Alex Hollingsworth, the city council’s cabinet member for planning and transport, said the project was ‘good but not perfect’.

He said a ‘good deal of design work’ had been done to ensure its impact on residents was not too great, but people living nearby complained the extended building would impact on their daily lives.

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The power station was first built in 1892 and was initially operated by the Oxford Electric Company.

The West Area planning committee’s chairman, Colin Cook, said officers’ comments had persuaded him that there would be ‘less than significant impact’ if it went ahead.

The Oxford Times:

“No planning application is perfect and I think perfect is the enemy of the good,” he said.

After July’s planning meeting, the school’s architects scaled part of the building back but they retained 121 ensuite bedrooms as originally planned.

Oxford Preservation Trust’s director Debbie Dance said she was worried about the impact the refurb would have on views across the city.

But city council planning officers said the impact would not be enough to refuse planning permission and they backed the project going ahead.

The business school has said the power station site will be used instead of its Egrove Park site, near Kennington, for executive business courses.

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It said the Egrove Park site was too small, outdated and too far out of the city centre for its clients, who are often senior international businesspeople. They expect to stay in the city centre, the school said.

Its dean, Peter Tufano, said: "I am thrilled with the news that the planning application for our new Global Leadership Centre has been approved.

"This is a major step towards our purpose to find answers to some of the biggest challenges facing economies, people, and the planet today."