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

Jayden trial: Jake Blakeley tells jury his killer brother was evil

Oxford Mail: Jake Blakeley, 18, from Didcot

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

A TEENAGER accused of helping his brother bury the body of Jayden Parkinson wept in the dock as he was told to look at photos of the two graves.

'I'm glad my evil ex has been jailed for injuring me'

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

A WOMAN left with life-changing injuries after her violent boyfriend pulled her car’s handbrake on the A40 said she is glad the “evil” man has been jailed.

Johnny Mullins backing Oxford United's quality

Oxford Mail: Johnny Mullins

9:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Johnny Mullins says Oxford United’s squad have the quality to get themselves out of trouble even without help from new signings.

Haggis and a wee dram on menu for Burns Night

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 24th January 2015

FAMILIES and friends across Oxford are coming together to celebrate Sunday’s Burns Night in style.

Delight at decision to replace whole water pipe in Normandy Crescent

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 24th January 2015

RESIDENTS have welcomed Thames Water’s decision to replace the water pipe running through a flood-blighted street as “a step in the right direction.”

A34 northbound re-opened after lorry crash

Oxford Mail:

8:28am Saturday 24th January 2015

THE A34 northbound between Marcham and Milton re-opened this evening after the road was closed when a lorry crashed into a ditch last night.

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