A MASSIVE revamp of Oxford Brookes University’s accommodation should go ahead because it will cut the number of students who need rented houses, the city council has said.

The university wants to demolish eight halls of residence at its Clive Booth Student Village in Headington and replace each of them with a taller building, infuriating some residents nearby.

The council admits there will be harm done – but that it would be ‘less than substantial’ and benefits from the project would offset it.

But worried residents said the development could ‘form a ghetto’ and that the university was showing a ‘total lack of respect’ for them and ‘the beautiful views within the city’.

The eight buildings that would be demolished make up half of the student village, off John Garne Way. Some would be seven storeys tall and would be seen across Oxford.

There are currently 615 student bedrooms in the eight buildings but the redevelopment would provide a total of 1,077 bedrooms.

More than 100 residents said they worry about the impact new buildings could have on views, along with increased noise and pressure on services.

READ MORE: Plans for 1,077 rooms in new Clive Booth Student Village

Oxford Preservation Trust said it was concerned that the new complex ‘cannot be achieved without impact on the Oxford views’. It said the plan was ‘too heavily weighted in favour of provision of student housing’.

Another three buildings would also go and be replaced as part of the major work, including a nursery and a bar.

The council said the development would have an ‘adverse impact’ on a wooded hillside on the site but further planting of trees would reduce that.

It said the new project would have a ‘material impact’ on housing in Oxford, releasing another 246 houses onto the city’s rental market.

A council report states: “The proposal would seek to make an efficient use of previously developed land, delivering a greater number of student beds on an existing student village site [and]…reducing the need for students to travel to academic buildings and crucially releasing a material number of private houses back on the open market.”

But one neighbour worried students would come to ‘dominate’ the area, while another said: “The monstrous high blocks will destroy the beauty of the area, forming a ghetto for potential residents to feel blocked in by the restricted views.”

Other residents said they were worried more Brookes students living together would spell trouble in Headington.

One wrote: “The large number of students proposed compounds a problem we already experience with Brookes students behaving in an unneighbourly manner, including breaking into our property for fun, setting off fireworks into our site, breaking down the adjoining fence and drunken revelry which impinges on the community.”

READ AGAIN: Oxford Brookes University exceeds quota for students living in the community

They added the proposed buildings would be ‘significantly out of character’ with the neighbourhood and would ‘overshadow an otherwise lovely’ Pullens Lane.

The university has said 140 trees would need to be felled for the buildings but another 272 trees would be planted on the site.

Car parking on the site would be reduced from 87 to 29 spaces and students will be restricted from bringing their vehicles. That is common practice for Oxford Brookes.

Student accommodation was first approved at the complex in 1972 with other developments being approved in 1975, 1976 and 1984.

Another five extensions have been approved by the council since 1989.

Its East Area planning committee will be asked to approve the application next Wednesday.

It will be asked to consider the worries of 120 people who said they were concerned about increased noise.

The university has already said its students will be ‘made aware in advance of any excessively noisy works’ when the work at the student village will be done.

Last November, Oxford Brookes’ interim director of estates and campus services, Adrian Stokes, said: “The proposed development will provide high-quality student accommodation and also improve the surrounding area through extending and enhancing green spaces.

“As part of the university’s student residential strategy, the increased number of rooms within the university’s estate will help to reduce the number of students living in private rented accommodation and support efforts to manage local housing demand.”

It is already renovating its Paul Kent Hall, off James Wolfe Road, East Oxford.