A NEW yoga studio could be built in West Oxford – signalling the end of a building that has been a garage, a dairy and an artist’s studio.

A yoga business wants to use 16 East Street as its new base and has got the backing from residents to demolish the current building on the site.

The new two-storey building would be able to fit 16 clients as part of a class. It would also contain a private consultation room and other spaces for teachers and students.

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Because of the proximity of the East Street to the River Thames, the ground floor must have ‘floodable uses’, according to planning documents submitted to Oxford City Council.

But it said its design fits ‘comfortably within its immediate neighbours’ and ‘fits within the overall rhythm of the terrace when seen from the street at ground level’.

They add it must ‘somehow be a welcome break in the long run of houses – a punctuation mark – a visual pause which also demarcates the building as different, in age and in use.’

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Several residents have already written to Oxford City Council in support of the application.

In one, Matthew Greenfield said: “From my own experience I know how difficult it is to find a suitable venue for yoga classes in Oxford. A purpose built yoga space is much needed in the city as the popularity of yoga classes continues to rise.

“This is a fantastic, not-for-profit proposal and makes good use of a building that is not suitable for residential use.

"It will have a positive impact not only on the local area but also on the yoga and wider community of Oxford.”

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Another resident, Sarah Pethybridge, who lives nearby in West Street, said: “This new building complements the Victorian houses alongside as a genuine modern design without dominating. As a long term resident of Osney I have seen many small businesses close on the island and welcome something new to redress the balance.”

Ms Pethybride added: “There are no new parking spaces available so everyone coming will know to use public transport and cycles.

“It will be an environmentally friendly project so I wholly support it and hope other residents will learn to be tolerant of something new coming to the neighbourhood.”

Officers will come to a decision over the project over the coming months.