THE latest twist in the long-running saga of a derelict Headington house has again angered neighbours.

New plans for 29 Old High Street have been criticised by people who live near the rundown, empty home.

Owner Martin Young is hoping to knock down part of the building – which is in a conservation area – and construct a two-storey side and rear extension.

But Veronica Hurst, in a response to Oxford City Council from the Friends of Old Headington to the application, said: “The Old High Street is of enormous value to the conservation area and number 29 is the first house in the conservation area in that street.

“The scale and bulk of the extension is entirely unacceptable... it will change the character by filling in one of the gaps which create valuable spaces in the organic mix of buildings and obscuring the view of trees from Bury Knowle Park.”

The house has been empty for more than five years and is in such a bad state of repair that the city council has ordered Mr Young to carry out improvement work.

Mr Young sparked anger after he planned to knock the house down and replace it with five three-storey houses.

The plan was refused on appeal, but Mr Young has since been given planning permission to knock down part of the building and construct a smaller side and rear extension but says he does not want to do this.

Last month he submitted this plan for a taller extension.

Oxford Preservation Trust and Oxford Civic Society have also objected to the proposals, with the former claiming they would “harm the house’s relationship” with the surrounding area.

Mr Young said the smaller building which he had been given planning permission for is “no use to man or beast”.

He said: “I think the smaller building would look incoherent and doesn’t look like a whole house and this new proposal is intended to look like one house.

“My impression was that the residents liked this which was a lot better than the status quo which everyone bemoans.”

He said he was hopeful that now the council had approved the footprint of the scheme it would look more favourably on the taller design.

A decision on the planning application is due to be made by a committee of city councillors but a date has not been set.