Judge rejects Oxford greyhound stadium appeal

Oxford Stadium
Image caption The stadium was listed as a conservation area by Oxford City Council last year

A former greyhound stadium that developers want to turn into housing will remain a conservation area, a High Court judge has ruled.

Oxford Stadium owners Greyhound Racing Association (GRA) had challenged the Oxford City Council decision to designate the site last year.

They want to develop the site in Blackbird Leys, which has not been used for greyhound racing since 2012.

Campaigners want to save the stadium from development and use it for sport.

'Massive boost'

City council leader Bob Price said he was "very pleased" with the High Court decision.

"The court found that the designation process had been carried out in a thorough and exemplary manner which met all the statutory requirements," he said.

The BBC has contacted GRA for comment.

Oxford East MP Andrew Smith said the decision was a "massive boost" for the campaign to save the stadium.

"I think the developers now really have got to face facts and listen to local people and allow the stadium to be used for recreation, get back greyhound racing, speedway and invest in what should be a first rate facility for our whole community," he said.

The track, which was also home to speedway, closed in December 2012 after the GRA said it was no longer viable.

In January last year city council planners refused proposals from developer Galliard to demolish the stadium and build 220 homes on the site.

The developer withdrew its appeal against the decision in May after the site was listed as a conservation area.

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