DISABLED access to one of Oxford’s libraries may finally get under way four years after being given planning consent.

Oxfordshire County Council attributed the delay to having to draw up a scheme acceptable to English Heritage, but the government body had never formally objected.

People who visit Headington Library, in Bury Knowle House, currently have to walk up steep steps to access it.

While the county council has had planning permission to build disabled access for the library in the Grade II-listed building since 2009 no work has been carried out.

English Heritage spokesman Renee Fok said planning consent in this case did not require English Heritage’s involvement and the council could just have been anticipating a potential problem.

Council spokesman Marcus Mabberley said: “The county council remains committed to ensuring that Headington Library is as accessible as possible to all users.

“The cost of proposed modification work is in the process of being determined and a decision regarding planned changes is expected in due course.

“The constraints of the building being a listed building has created a challenge in identifying a possible solution which would be acceptable to English Heritage.”

Bury Knowle House was built in 1800 as a home for Joseph Lock, an Oxford goldsmith and mayor.

It has been owned by Oxford City Council since 1930 but the county council rents the library space.

Gwynneth Pedler, of disability campaign group Oxfordshire Unlimited, said: “The council should have gone ahead with this years ago. It is well behind time.

“The council should be given an extra push because it is high time that they did this work.”

The county council can give itself planning permission for buildings which it has operational use of.

It did so in the case of Headington Library in July 2009 to provide wheelchair access to the rear of the building but no work was carried out and planning permission expired. In April the council renewed the permission giving itself three years to do the work.

Bury Knowle House does not meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Headington and Quarry county councillor Roz Smith said: “We have been told the work is going to happen this year but we don’t know when. They really need to get on and do the job. “