ALTERNATIVES are being sought for Jericho residents who face losing on-street parking for up to two years because of a college development.

Oxfordshire County Council member for Jericho & Osney Susanna Pressel is hopeful of changes after meeting one of its highways officers.

Spaces will be lost in Walton Street and Worcester Place as part of plans to flatten most of the former Ruskin College.

Essex College has planning permission from Oxford City Council to demolish the building.

The plans will see all but the 1913 Walton Street facade demolished for 90 student rooms and teaching facilities in a quadrangle design.

The county council has ordered suspension of parking spaces in adjoining streets from April 14 and warn it could last for two years. Mrs Pressel said she wants changes like removal of nearby double yellow lines to help residents.

She said: “Residents of Worcester Place and Walton Street who live near the site were shocked to hear that they could lose up to 20 residents parking spaces for about two years, as well as having to put up with all the other disruption this development will cause.

“This is in addition to about eight spaces they have already lost, because of building work elsewhere in their street.

“This is clearly not acceptable, so a very helpful county highways officer came out with me and a group of residents to have a good look at all the nearby parking spaces to see if any adjustments could be made.”

She said: “He is planning to remove a few double yellow lines and to advertise some changes in other spaces.

“If no-one comes up with a good reason to object to these changes, it should be possible to create some residents’ parking spaces to replace the ones due to be lost, at least for a couple of years.

“After that there can be some more adjustments, if necessary. We’ll see what people have to say about these proposals.”

County council spokesman Martin Crabtree said: “We have been out with the county councillor and some residents to look at the issues and have agreed to make some alterations to provide parking.

“Legislation means that parking can be removed using a temporary order, which does not have to be advertised.

“But to create parking needs a permanent order which does have to be advertised.

“If there are no objections to what is proposed the changes could be in place for June.

“If there are objections, and it has to be considered by the cabinet member, then we would be looking at September at the latest.”

Essex College did not respond to the Oxford Mail’s enquiry.