EAGLE-eyed commuters travelling along Oxford’s ring road might have noticed a difference to the skyline.

That’s because changes have been afoot at the Cowley car plant, with the demolition of one of the site’s landmark buildings.

Car company BMW has demolished a former office block to make way for a new on-site car park.

Horsparth resident Colin Mutton saw the changing skyline from the demolition and said the office block had been on the site since the 1930s.

He said: “It is a large office block on the ring road and it is quite a landmark.

“When I saw it they had this large machine picking away at it.”

BMW has said the building has been empty for a number of years and is now “showing signs of distress”.

Company spokeswoman Rebecca Baxter said: “More than 140 new car parking spaces will be created by removing the disused building.

“An experienced demolition contractor has been selected in order to minimise noise and dust as much as possible.”

She said water was used to keep dust down. Vehicle movements to and from the sites were scheduled to avoid peak traffic times in the area.

The demolition work is due to be completed by the end of plant’s Easter shutdown, which started on April 21 and ends on May 6.

BMW expects the new parking places to be ready for June.

Oxford Mail:

The company says there is no intention to add to the current clerical and logistics teams which work in the other office buildings facing the ring road.

In a statement the company has said: “The site has received a massive investment in technology which has developed new processes in manufacturing the MINI product.

“Although, only a relative small scheme on site, it adds value to BMW (UK) Manufacturing Ltd associates and further demonstrates the continued long-term viability of the plant.”

Cars have been produced at the Cowley plant since 1913.

During the 1930s, the plant also produced the de Havilland Tiger Moth plane as part of Britain’s war effort.