THE future of Oxpens Meadow as an open space is secure after councillors agreed to dedicate it to the Queen.

Oxford City Council’s executive board has approved plans to designate it a Queen Elizabeth II playing field under the “fields in trust” scheme.

The scheme, brought in by the Government to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, protects green spaces for the future.

Campaigners in the area had initially expressed a desire to make a similar “town green” application for the site, but the council said the FIT bid was better.

A report to councillors said: “Officers believe that the FIT scheme is ideally suited to this site, and the scheme provides an effective and immediate measure to protect and preserve the status of Oxpens Meadow as an area of public open space.

“This will alleviate the need for a town green application by either the council or stakeholder groups, whilst retaining rights to implement flood attenuation measures as part of the wider Oxpens regeneration plans in the future.”

Land to the north of the ice rink has not been included in the scheme, and has previously been highlighted as a potential site for a 400-home housing development.