A ROW has broken out over a piece of public art in Headington.

Education First has submitted proposals for a stone bench as the artwork it was required to install when given planning permission for its language school in Pullen’s Lane.

Now, after a five-year delay, concerns have been raised about the design.

Kennett Road resident Stephanie Jenkins said: “I do not consider a stone seat inside the curtilage of a private college – which the public will not be allowed to use – is public art.”

The bench will have engravings on it similar to the earliest forms of written language.

When the school was granted planning permission in 2008, Switzerlan-based EF agreed to supply some form of public art as Oxford City Council requires all major developments to do.

Ruth Chambers, executive director at EF, said: “It was agreed at the time of application that the best location for the public art would be in front of the main entrance in a prominent position fully visible to the public and it was therefore not possible to complete this stage of the project until the final phase was finished.

“In consultation with the council arts officer, a local artist has already been commissioned and work on the piece is under way.”

Oxford artist Lois Muddiman has been commissioned to create the bench.