A SKI-slope roofed office will not be built because it would overshadow neighbouring houses.

The office building would have replaced a plumber’s merchants on Stockmore Street, off the Cowley Road.

Plans for the new office, which also had an entrance on Temple Street to the north, showed it would have had an undulating, wobbly-shaped roof, some of which was covered in glass, and other parts in turf and plants.

Residents of the road were opposed to it and said the tall new building with its odd roof would be out of character with the area and would be overbearing.

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Councillors on Oxford City Council’s west area planning committee voted by majority to refuse the application, going against the advice from planning department staff members.

The development was pitched to the council as being ‘car free’ because the only street side parking space at the current plumber’s merchants would be removed.

In its place, 34 cycle parking spaces would have been included with the new building.

Oxford Mail:

Stockmore Street as it currently appears on Google Maps

Neil Warner, a planning agent speaking on behalf of site owner Robin Swailes Design and Development, said the site had been used as a warehouse, or shop since before the surrounding terraced houses were built there in the late Victorian period.

He argued that a new office building would benefit nearby residents, as construction and delivery noise in the area would stop.

The council had also received letters from the Stockmore Street Residents’s Association, which was opposed to the development.

In a letter sent to the council, residents said the new office would jar with the surrounding streets, and were worried that heat pumps on the roof would be noisy.

The letter added: “The proposed development is excellent for an office park but not in this residential setting.”

Councillors on the committee were split over how the building looked.

Louise Upton asked about where the 34 cycle parking spaces mentioned in the planning application would be.

She was told by council officers they would be in a basement, which could only be accessed through a service elevator.

Sian Taylor said: “It is a very interesting building, but completely out of character in the street it is situated in.”

READ AGAIN about when the plans were originally pitched

Her colleague Liz Wade agreed with her.

But Alex Hollingsworth said he was minded to support the application, and said changes to the character of some streets had to be accepted.

The proposals for the building had been changed since it was first floated with the council in March, with one side of the planned building being moved back from the pavement to make it less overbearing.

Despite this, councillors still refused the plan for being too large and imposing.