A COMMON room and kitchen at a West Oxford tutorial college could cause unwanted noise pollution, residents fear.

Neighbours of the Cherwell College in Mill Street, off Botley Road, want reassurance over last-minute changes to plans for the college development at the end of their road.

A planning application has been submitted for the college building, due to be completed in December, which now includes the communal room and kitchen facilities.

Due to be home to 55 students aged 16 to 18, the building’s use has always been welcomed by residents, but they are concerned by the latest amendments.

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Planning has been approved and the application regarding a common room and kitchen facilities is a variation of the planning permission.

The proposed addition of the communal areas has caused uncertainty about noise levels and extra traffic on the West Oxford street.

Rosemary Preston, of Mill Street, said: “We want it to work but not at a great cost to us the residents, and we are very concerned about when there will be service vehicles coming down our road.

“The plan did not originally include provision for a common room or kitchen facility.

“I am also concerned about noise levels.

“If you were 16-18 in a tiny room you might get stir crazy.

“There’s a warden flat on site and the quality of supervision is absolutely vital – we look forward to getting to know the warden because we want it all to go smoothly.

“We’ve always been very pleased that it’s going to be a small, private tutorial college but our concerns now are with the final preparations.”

Labour city councillor for Jericho and Osney Susanna Pressel said: “I can understand that residents don’t want lots more noise.

“The new block is very close to many homes and it’s not clear how much supervision there will be of these very young students.

“They also don’t want more traffic.

“The street is crowded and narrow, with occasional vehicles that break the speed limit.

“This can be very dangerous here and it often terrifies passers-by.”

Bryony McCombe, also of Mill Street, said: “We are just anxious of being overlooked and also of the level of noise at different times. There’s old age pensioners living on this street as well as parents with young children.”

Cherwell College director Stephen Clarke said: “The revision is for a larger dining area and kitchen facility for health and safety reasons.”

Back in 2010 Mill Street residents fought bitterly to stop the new headquarters of Thames Valley Probation Service being built on their road.

After a 1,000-signature petition and lobbying to then-Justice Secretary Jack Straw, the Mill Street plan was put on hold and St Aldate’s was eventually chosen as the site of the new probation office.

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