Fears over student flats proposal in Oxford

image captionThe scheme could provide 128 student accommodation units on the site

Plans to sell off part of a car park to build student accommodation could limit parking and affect businesses, according to traders in Oxford.

Developer Watkin Jones Group has put forward three options including a 13-storey tower block for St Clement's car park near Magdalen College.

Selling the land off could raise £3.57m for Oxford City Council.

The council said it was confident the reduced number of spaces would be "sufficient to support future need".

Alan Grosvner owns a specialist audio and visual shop in St Clements.

He said: "Customers that we deal with come in from out of town and need to be able to park their vehicles within an accessible range of the business. If that is restricted or taken away it will have a detrimental effect on our business."

'Monstrous development'

Sietske Boeles, a member of Divinity Road Residents Association in East Oxford, said: "We are not against development on the car park provided you make an under parking garage or keep that essential number of parking spaces.

"My main concern is that it's a monstrous development which will forever harm or destroy the dreaming spires skyline of Oxford."

A spokesman for Watkin Jones Group said, following a public exhibition, it would be submitting plans for a low rise block of accommodation as its preferred bid.

An Oxford City Council spokesperson said: "The council's development partner was originally selected for the site on the basis of a low rise scheme providing around 128 student accommodation units and retaining approximately 76 car parking spaces.

"The existing public conveniences will also be replaced as part of the development."

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