LOCALS have raised concerns about plans to build blocks containing 600 new student flats.

Oxford Brookes University last week revealed its plans to redevelop the existing Clive Booth Student Village.

The ‘village’ is currently home to 1,300 students, but if the plan is approved, that would rise to 1,800 students.

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In a bid to give residents a chance to express their concerns over the proposed redevelopment, the university held an online consultation event on Tuesday night.

Locals asked several questions including what the ‘need’ for this redevelopment was and what the environmental impact would be.

Concerns were also raised about the increased number of bedrooms, leading to an increase in the student population.

Mark Tugwell, interim deputy director of estates at Brookes, reassured people that the university was not increasing its overall number of students.

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He said: “Despite misconceptions, the overall number of students at Oxford Brookes has remained static; there are now approximately 500 fewer students at the university than there were in 2015.”

Brendan Casey, registrar and chief operating officer at the university, also said that the Oxford City 2036 Local Plan meant Oxford Brookes could not exceed the threshold of 4,000 of its students living outside the university accommodation.

He added: “Increasing the number of rooms available to students within the estate is important to help meet this local requirement.

“This is why we feel this project is so important, not just for Oxford Brookes, but for the city as a whole.”

Read more about this here: New blocks to house 600 students

Residents also raised concerns about the removal of trees from the campus, but the spokesman reassured listeners that it would not ‘get rid of our woodland setting’ and the new plan would also include ‘planting of trees’.

The development team also said there was a need to ‘modernise’ the current accommodation, as the site has ‘old buildings which are not very good thermally and provide no ensuite accommodation’."

Brookes is now planning to hold another online consultation event for residents on Wednesday 9 December.

Residents can also ask questions in an online form by visiting brookes.ac.uk/clivebooth