Youth hostel will resist an attempted move to new site

Youth hostel team members Chris Sciberras and Isabelle Kuematukanga at Oxford’s Youth Hostel; inset, councillor Susannah Pressell

Youth hostel team members Chris Sciberras and Isabelle Kuematukanga at Oxford’s Youth Hostel; inset, councillor Susannah Pressell

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter, also covering West Oxford. Call me on (01865) 425437

A YOUTH hostel has said it will “resist moving as long as possible” after it was earmarked for demolition in the Oxford train station redevelopment plans.

Last week, Oxford City Council released details of the £75m scheme for the new station.

The plans revealed the YHA Youth Hostel in Botley Road would need to be demolished to make way for the upgrade.

The YHA has said it is in talks with the city council about a possible relocation, but no firm plans have been put forward yet.

Chief executive Caroline White said: “We want to engage with the planning board so that they find an alternative site within the station redevelopment and which is as near to the station as possible.

“I would much rather do that by negotiation and talks, obviously, but if they compulsory purchase the site we will resist for as long as we can.”

She added: “If they go down the compulsory purchase route it will be a significant investment for them and they will have to pay us compensation to re-invest for a new hostel for us.”

The YHA owns the building on Botley Road. Mrs White said she hoped a site within walking distance of the station would be found, and 30,000 sq ft would be needed.

It currently employs 35 people.

Mrs White added: “The city council has been initially understanding of what we need and that a retaining a hostel is very important.

“But what we haven’t got yet is a much firmer commitment from all the parties to this redevelopment to providing a new hostel.

“We have been here 80 years and we would like to stay for another 80.”

Hostel manager Nick Clements said: “We really want to keep a Youth Hostel in Oxford.

“We offer a fantastic, affordable, place for young people to stay when they visit this great city.”

The YHA has had a hostel in the city since 1936 and has been in Botley Road since 2001, undergoing major refurbishment in 2012.

The 203-bed accommodation has 63,000 customers a year and is one of the top five most popular hostels in the country – with bookings at 90 per cent capacity year round.

Ward councillor Susannah Pressell said: “This is the best place for them, near the train station.

“I am hopeful that we can come up with something.

“I will help them resist. But we know we have to help them and there are options.”

She said there were buildings nearby, such as the former Railway Club, which could be used by the hostel.

Both the city council and the county council failed to respond to requests for a comment.

Compulsory purchase orders

Compulsory purchase powers allow an authority to buy land to carry out a function which Parliament has decided is in the public interest. 
Anyone who has land acquired is usually entitled to compensation. 
Bodies with statutory powers can use the powers, usually councils and the Highways Agency. 
Last year, Oxford City Council used a compulsory purchase order to acquire a bungalow and land in Littlemore. 
It said the building has been empty for more than 10 years and had become a target for vandals and thieves.

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

    Send your Letter to the Editor

    11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

    What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Our top stories

'Major hope' that Caterham factory in Leafield could re-open despite F1 team also going into administration

Oxford Mail:

1:34pm Friday 24th October 2014

ADMINISTRATORS have been handed full management responsibility for the Caterham Formula One team in a bid to find a new buyer.

UPDATE: Hundreds line Woodstock's streets for 11th Duke of Marlborough's funeral

Oxford Mail:

11:40am Friday 24th October 2014

HUNDREDS of people have gathered outside St Mary Magdalene's church in Woodstock to pay their respects to the 11th Duke of Marlborough.

Elderly woman taken to hospital after A4074 crash

Oxford Mail: a4074 alert

1:01pm Friday 24th October 2014

AN ELDERLY woman was taken to hospital after two cars crashed on the A4074. 

FOOTBALL Rising star Roberts eager for Oxford United first-team action as Morris returns to Norwich

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 24th October 2014

James Roberts is in no mood to rest on his laurels as the young Oxford United striker looks to feature in a fourth successive game when they visit Carlisle United tomorrow.

Blueprint for a £110m cancer research centre

Oxford Mail: Oxford Univesity logo white lettering blue background new logo

7:00am Friday 24th October 2014

A £110m cancer research centre is planned for Headington to study pioneering treatment with hundreds of county patients.

City roadworks hassle is worthwhile, says minister

Oxford Mail: OCC Cabinet member for transport, David Nimmo-Smith.

6:30am Friday 24th October 2014

MULTIPLE roadworks that cause city traffic gridlock are “worth it”, a minister has said.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree