Press hall extension is approved

First published in

Newsquest Oxfordshire, publishers of the Oxford Mail, was yesterday given permission to extend its press hall in Osney Mead.

Planning permission was granted three weeks after councillors rejected the proposal.

Oxford City Council's strategic development control committee re-examined the scheme after some councillors labelled the original decision "perverse".

The plan, to extend the press hall - which also prints The Oxford Times and The Daily Telegraph - by about 120sq m, had been thrown out by the central, south and west area committee on January 9 due to the effect the building would have on the city's skyline.

But yesterday, councillors overturned this decision.

The existing building, which stands 20 metres high and is more than 60 m long, was opened in August 2004.

Councillor John Tanner said: "This extension makes very little difference to what is already there."

But councillor Colin Cook said: "I was on the committee that agreed the original application. It is my biggest mistake as a councillor so far. I'm not minded to compound that mistake."

Charles Webster, of the Oxford Architects, acting on behalf of Newsquest, said the extension could create between 15-20 jobs.

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