PLANS to change offices into 93 flats have raised fears over increased traffic and flooding.

Nielsen House, on the A40 London Road, Risinghurst, could be turned into 30 one-bed and 63 two-bed flats under plans submitted to Oxford City Council.

But residents in Risinghurst and Sandhills have said turning the buildings, used by the market research company, over to residential use would create traffic problems and raise the risk of flooding.

About 30 householders have commented on the planning document, submitted by Headington Developments Ltd.

One resident, Helen Smith of Ringwood Road, said: "Over the years, with heavy rainfall from Shotover Country Park, we've seen many of the gardens in Risinghurst flood.

"It also makes the football and cricket pitches unusable. Some years ago there were plans to turn the Nielsen site into a business park, but this issue of flooding was a major concern – and it still is."

Lyn Hill of Kiln Lane strongly objected to the plans.

She said: "If the development goes ahead it will put an enormous strain on the existing road system, which is already used as a rat run for motorists trying to avoid the queues at Green Road roundabout.

"The Nielsen's site is adjacent to the footpath which leads to and from Sandhills Primary School.

"Every day hundreds of adults and young children use this route to get to and from the school and nursery.

"The number of proposed houses would mean there would be at least 100 cars a day needing to enter and exit the site.

"How would this be organised? How could the safety of our children be guaranteed?"

Risinghurst and Sandhills parish council echoed the concerns of residents.

Chairwoman Barbara Naylor said traffic and flood risks were her two main concerns.

The community is also curious as to what is planned in the future of a field behind Nielsen House, which was sold Headington Oxford One Ltd for £4.5m in December last year.

There are rumours the site behind Nielsen House could also be used for housing, with the city council earmarking 12-acres for up to 200 homes as part of its housing plan.

The site is a protected employment site, which means any redevelopment would have to contain the existing level of employees there.

The council said it would be "very suitable" for a hotel.

Oxfordshire county councillor Glynis Phillips called for more information about plans for the field.

She said: "If there is a possibility of a hotel there, then there would be employment opportunities for people.

"I am wondering what is going to happen,"

The Oxford Mail approached the agent of Headington Developments Ltd, but no one was available to comment.