SCHOOL children have taken part in a protest against Oxford North, the huge new housing and science centre development in the city.

Last week, the kids from Wolvercote School spent an afternoon studying wildlife on fields next to where the development is taking place, as a part of a protest.

They collected bugs, watched rabbits and walked along the hedgerows on fields next to the site of Oxford North.

When finished, the huge new development could have as many as 480 homes, and office and lab space with enough room for 4,000 jobs.

There are also plans for new green open spaces within the development.

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Developer Thomas White Oxford, a company owned by St John's College, has billed the project as a new district for the city, akin to tech-centred neighbourhoods that exist in the USA near universities like MIT.

The children's protest was part of a wider movement of demonstrations against the plans by residents living near the development.

Nina van Schaick, a local mother and midwife, said: “It’s about biodiversity, green space and clean air, but it’s also about common sense. Construction produces 35 per cent to 40 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions."

She added "Authoritative voices like AECOM, British Land, and the Architect Journal are all calling for the reuse of buildings rather than new builds, which release up to five times more CO2.

We should be using the empty buildings we’ve already got, not tearing up green areas.”

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While the protest was against TWO's plans for Oxford North, it took place on land belonging to Oxford City Council, which is also marked out for housing development.

Ms van Schaick said she did not want to take school children onto a building site because it could be dangerous, but added the children could see construction work taking place.

Heavy machinery has set up on the Oxford North site recently, as contractors for Oxfordshire County Council begin work on upgrades to the A40.

Oxford North declined to comment because the protest did not take place on its land.

Oxford City Council, which owns the land at Goose Green Lane, also declined to comment, because the protest was not related to its ambitions to build on the land.