A PROJECT to turn St Giles' former men’s toilets into B&B rooms has been given planning permission.

The owners of the Galaxie Hotel, in Banbury Road, had resubmitted a plan in January. Another was withdrawn last October.

Opponents to the plan said it was ‘impractical’ and clashed with treasured buildings nearby. The Grade I listed Ashmolean Museum is a short walk away in Beaumont Street.

Oxford Preservation Trust’s director Debbie Dance said the design’s ‘cluttered appearance’ needed ‘more careful consideration’.

But the city council disagreed. It said the design and conditions it has attached to the proposal ‘would accord with the special character, setting, features of special architectural or historic interest’ of listed buildings nearby.

It said planning officers had ‘carefully considered all objections’.

But they had agreed they ‘do not amount, individually or cumulatively, to a reason for refusal and that all the issues that had been raised have been adequately addressed and the relevant bodies consulted’.

A major change to the initial application saw clear glass proposed for canopies covering the walk down steps and into the rooms. Patterned, opaque glass had been initially planned.

All work on the toilets’ conversion must be done within three years.

The Galaxie Hotel’s owners were given planning permission to use the same toilet site as office space in 2014 but the work was never carried out.

It is thought the toilets were built in the late 19th century.