Oxford

Oxford Brookes 885-room student hall plan approved

Proposed student hall off James Wolfe Road Image copyright Broadway Malyan
Image caption The blocks are to be built on land once occupied by Cowley Barracks off James Wolfe Road

Plans for an 885-room hall of residence for university students in Oxford have been approved.

The blocks for Oxford Brookes are to be built on land once occupied by Cowley Barracks off James Wolfe Road next to Paul Kent Hall.

The site will have very low levels of parking which has prompted concerns about students using nearby streets.

However, councillors backed the proposal after a report by Oxford City Council officers recommended approval.

It is the authority's policy to reduce the number of Oxford Brookes students living outside of university provided accommodation to below 3,000.

The report by officers said the application from Unite Students would be a "significant step" towards this target.

Parking patrols

A petition signed by 96 local residents, which was submitted to the council, said there was too much student accommodation in the area and it was changing its character.

It also raised concerns about students using local roads because of the lack of parking spaces on site.

To address this, the report said the council would look to secure an agreement that students do not bring cars to Oxford.

It added it was "understood" Unite Students had offered to pay £46,500 towards on-street parking patrols.

The application was supported by the university, which wants to increase its accommodation by 1,500 over the next five years.

In a letter submitted with the plans, its director of estates and facilities management, Sue Holmes, said the proposal was "central" to those plans.

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