ITS prominent appearance is well known to anyone who passes down the Botley Road and into Oxford.

The River Hotel, by the Thames in Botley Road, is one of 70 properties that have been listed as neighbourhood treasures to be safeguarded for the future.

The hotel has been added to the Oxford Heritage Assets Register, a list of highlights deemed to be defining landmarks for their local area.

The River Hotel’s manager Pat Jones, whose home in Abbey Road was also included on the list, said: “I’m very pleased that somebody’s had the foresight to include it on the listing.

Our top stories

“It’s an interesting building and we’ve had to put up fights to keep it before. It would be a shame for it to go.”

The sites added to the register are “identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of [their] heritage interest”.

Now these key characteristics and sites in the west of Oxford will be given consideration during the planning process, should they potentially be affected or changed through development.

The list also includes the Old Music Hall in Cowley Road, Oxpens Meadow, Magdalen Road Church and the Asian Cultural Association Centre in Manzil Way.

Mrs Jones welcomed the study, and said: “Why shouldn’t they be of interest? You can’t keep bulldozing everything down and leaving nothing of any historical interest.”

Mrs Jones fought against the hotel’s landlord, Christ Church, in 2006, when the college wanted to demolish the hotel.

It had hoped to replace it with a 34-bedroom hotel, a shop and 17 riverside flats. Christ Church took its case to a government planning inspector after city councillors rejected the proposals but eventually withdrew the appeal.

Two years later it proposed to expand the property to become a “niche” hotel as part of a £100m redevelopment of the area, but the plans were later dropped.

The hotel was originally built in the 1870s as the home of Thomas Henry Kingerlee, who became Oxford’s mayor in 1898.

As well as the building, the hotel’s garden was also praised as being a significant “pocket of greenery”.

Mrs Jones’s house, the curate’s house in Abbey Road has also been included in the list.

Leader of the council Bob Price praised the study: “It’s been a very well-managed process. It has engaged people in a way we often don’t get.

“We are fortunate to have lots of buildings that have heritage aspects to them.”

“I would like to see it extended across the city.”