IF Oxford University had hoped its controversial student flats at Castle Mill would fade into the distance after they were built, it was sorely mistaken.

Campaigners against the student blocks have refused to give up, and the latest development will be a boon for their cause.

The university’s own Congregation will debate a motion to reduce the height. It was prompted by a request signed by 66 people started by Diarmaid MacCulloch.

It is the latest in what could be seen as victories for opponents of the flats, following an environmental impact assessment carried out on the buildings, which found they had an adverse impact on Port Meadow, the Oxford Skyline and the Grade I listed St Barnabas Church in Jericho.

Given the university must act on all resolutions passed by the Congregation, should the motion be passed the university would be placed in a difficult situation.

It is already embarrassing that some of its own congregation want to debate the buildings. But the episode shows the value of campaigning, even when many would have considered the matter dead.

With bricks and mortar laid down, some might have suggested any hope of success would have been over. But through persistence, changes could be made to at least lessen the impact of the buildings.

And there is still a chance a whole floor of the blocks could be removed.

Regardless of how the Congreagation votes on its motion, the fight will not be over.