A pub has been told it can have an outdoor smoking area - but only if it is placed at the back of the building.

The owners of the Boundary House pub, in Oxford Road, Abingdon, had wanted to put four canopies near the front of the pub in preparation for July's ban on smoking in public places.

The green, cone-shaped canopies had been proposed for the front of the building but there were concerns that customers would have to walk through the smoking area to get into the pub.

Members of the Vale of White Horse District Council's development control committee said the canopies would be allowed, but at the back of the pub.

Councillors also also want tree preservation orders placed on two magnolia trees, one of which would have been felled if the original siting of the canopies was approved.

More talks are to be held with the owners of the pub Greene King.

The company had proposed the idea of the canopies for the pub that was once the home of Cecil Kimber, the founder of MG cars.

But the proposals met opposition at the committee's meeting from Alan Bryden, Abingdon Town Council's member for the Northcourt ward, which includes the pub. The town council and some local residents also objected.

Mr Bryden said: "The cones will be seen from the road. They will be immediately in front of the main entrance to the pub and it makes a mockery of legislation as customers would have to run the gauntlet of smoke to gain entry."

Councillor Terry Cox said it seemed strange to position the canopies so that everyone going into the pub would have to walk through the smoking area.

He said: "The canopies would be in a prominent position when there is room towards the back. I have no problems with the design, but their siting could impact on the street scene."

Fellow councillor Jerry Patterson also wanted the canopies moved. He was concerned about the proposed loss of one of the two magnolia trees and called for preservation orders to be taken out to protect them.

Tony de Vere said: "I have no objection in principle to the plans, but I am worried that if the canopies are moved towards the back area of the pub, then residents who live in Harwell Close could suffer noise and disturbance."