PLANS to build an artisan distillery next to one of the city’s biggest secondary schools are set to be approved despite concerns it will encourage young people to drink.

The former Oxford City Council depot - next to Cheney School - could be converted into a distillery and a barn built next to it for extra storage.

Original plans for a cafe and visitor centre on the site have been removed but could be re-applied for in future.

City council planning officers recommended councillors approve the plans at a meeting tomorrow despite objections residents that it was too close to Cheney School and the Warneford Hospital.

The report revealed concerns has been raised that the distillery could ‘encourage young people to drink’ .

But alcohol produced on site would be distributed to farmer’s markets, pubs and other points of sale across the county and beyond.

Aside from producing spirits - and the possibility of Oxford Gin - the distillery will also offer tours of the building.

It is also expected to create ten jobs and see a vacant Grade II-listed barn upgraded and utilised.

City council planner Sarah Orchard also said that the site had been earmarked for residential use and that a historic covenant restricted the production of alcohol there.

But she resolved these were not ‘material planning considerations and councillors are expected to approve the plans at a meeting in Town Hall tomorrow at 6pm.