PLANS to convert offices into flats opens the floodgates for more homes to be built next to one of the busiest routes into Oxford, it has been warned.
A proposal to convert former offices at Nielsen House, beside the A40 at Risinghurst, into 93 new homes were given the go ahead last month.
The development of 30 one-bed flats and 63 two-bed flats together with 93 resident car parking spaces and 22 visitor bays were approved by Oxford City Council.
But county councillor Glynis Phillips, who represents Risinghurst, warned of more housing development.
She said: “My concern about this site is that the planning application will appear to come through on a piecemeal basis. So we have had the approval for these units already but it is obviously a very large site.
“My concern is that the planning applications should have come at the same time so that residents’ concerns could also be heard.
“The issue for residents is that this is a large area and many more houses could be put there.
"Risinghurst is a lovely place to live and lots of residents have been there for decades, but if you start putting traffic through the area it will just change it forever.
“There will be no vehicle access going into the existing community but there will be people walking and cycling in.
“No one is going to argue that we don’t need more housing in Oxford, it is just looking at the implications for the existing community.
“Providing services is an issue; education is an issue, care is going to be an issue, and access is going to be an issue."
Householders had previously voiced their concerns. Derek Taylor from Headington said: “Concerns were raised over the ability of local infrastructure to accommodate the increase in population, also the effect on schools and doctors.
“There are big concerns that changing the use of the building to living accommodation will set a precedent for future development on this site which could increase four times with similar flat developments.”
Risinghurst resident Will Clark warned that access to the site from the A40 could cause problems for motorists and would lead to cars parking outside the site and clogging up nearby roads.
He said: “The road network in Risinghurst cannot cope with non-residential parked cars as there is not enough space. The road width once cars are parked is one carriageway only."
A transport statement prepared on behalf of the applicant said the plans posed a 'negligible' impact on the traffic network and cited clear housing need across the city.