A PARKING plan which councillors worry could lead to more cars on Oxford's streets looks set to go ahead.

Residents said there are already no parking spaces in Gathorne Road in Headington at evenings and weekends, but more people might be allowed to park there.

Highways authority Oxfordshire County Council has been told there is no reason to withhold permits for people living at the Wingfield House development, which was first given planning permission 10 years ago.

It was approved by Oxford city councillors in 2007 on the proviso it would be car-free, but after legal challenges the county council has been told its residents should be given the opportunity to park like everyone else living there.

Councillors said they now fear that if that is allowed developers will be able to challenge other parking orders around the city.

A total of 36 residents in Gathorne Road and St Anne's Road and members of the St Anne's, Gathorne Road and Margaret Road Residents' Association, Cyclox and the Windmill Road Residents' Action Group are all opposed to the proposals.

County councillor for Headington and Quarry, Roz Smith, said: “If this change is approved then it will be more difficult for the local planning authority [Oxford City Council] to turn down applications and for the county council to further its aim of reducing the high volume of vehicle movements within the city.”

City councillors Ruth Wilkinson and Mohammed Altaf-Khan urged the county council to stop the application, which would allow the permits for residents living in the two three-bedroom semi-detached flats.

They stated: "We are anxious that this proposed change arising from what we feel to have been a questionable inspector decision does not serve as a precedent for the Headington area, which contains a very large number of shared houses, HMOs and flats which have only received permission for building or change of use on the condition that they are car free."

The Wingfield House development began after planning permission was granted in 2007 to convert a building to make six flats.

A fight to secure resident parking permits was rejected in 2007 and 2016, but a planning inspector has since said there is no longer a reason to withhold them.

The inspector said no safety problems would be created by issuing the permits.

But opponents said tenants in the flats 'were aware that permits were allowed when they took on their tenancies and if (a lack of) on-street parking was an issue they could have rented elsewhere.'

Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet member for environment, Yvonne Constance, will have the final say on the decision, which will be made tomorrow.