PLANS for a gin garden and kiosk next to a distillery in South Park will be reconsidered after councillors ‘called in’ a tight decision.

The proposals, which included a restaurant with an outdoor area for park users and gin drinkers, were approved by five votes to four by Oxford City Council’s west area planning committee last month.

The Oxford Artisan Distillery was built on the former council depot site in Cheney Lane in Headington earlier this year and plans for a visitor centre, restaurant, garden and kiosk were added.

A shuttle bus route taking people from the city centre to the distillery for tours and then a tipple of gin in the garden was also agreed on.

The decision has now been called in, meaning it will be reconsidered next Wednesday.

It has been argued that the scheme breaches planning policy as public open space – in South Park – would be lost.

Some concerns were raised taken over the bulk and appearance of the buildings.

The close vote saw concerns raised over loss of park space and a rise in anti-social behaviour.

Councillor Colin Cook said the plans preserved a Grade-II listed barn and that bringing the old agricultural site back into use was a good thing.

But councillor Alex Hollingsworth, who voted against, said: “It is quite a finely balanced issue, it does bring the building back into use and recall the agricultural history of the site.

“But planning policy says permission should not be given if there is a loss of public open space, such as a park.”

A separate group of city councillors on the planning review committee will now independently rule on the scheme.