A DOZEN buildings in Oxford could be demolished and replaced as part of Oxford Brookes University's highly-controversial plans for more student housing.

The huge new complex set to cost £100 million could be built at the university's Clive Booth Student Village at John Garne Way, which is currently home to around 1,300 students.

The accommodation blocks would be knocked down under the plans, and replaced with 12 new ones at the site north of Headington Hill House.

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The university’s planning application describes the redevelopment of the accommodation as ‘an exciting opportunity to create a unique 'living and learning' environment for students within a verdant woodland setting close to the main campus and Headington Hill Park’.

In addition to the purpose-built housing, which will have 573 new rooms, the development includes a children's nursery, an administrative building, changes to car parking, installation of cycle parking structures and the installation of a waste compactor unit.

According to Oxford Brookes, a large number of the buildings on the site are now 30 years old.

This means there is a need to redevelop the accommodation so that living arrangements continue to be of a 'high quality' for students and the site is modernised.

In addition, the university claimed that the plan would help to reduce pressure on local housing by allowing for greater numbers of students to live within student accommodation on existing university land, close to the Headington Campus, as an alternative to private rental properties in the community.

Despite the benefits listed by Oxford Brookes, the plan has already received a flurry of objections from people living in the area and two official residents' associations have spoken out against it.

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Patricia Lee, who lives on Headington Road, said: "Oxford Brookes are to blame for the situation in which they find themselves.

"Student numbers have increased exponentially and the university does not own enough land to provide amenities on site.

"Consequently they have to resort to land grabbing, mostly in Headington but now in other areas of Oxford too.

"Oxford Brookes would do well to reflect that students usually remain in the city for three years, then move on.

"We long suffering neighbours cope with university decisions for a lifetime."

Even more, the New Marston (South) Residents’ Association also argued that the application is 'more or less the same' as one rejected by the East Area Planning Committee (EAPC) in 2019, and the new architects and consultants have largely used the same brief and targets.

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The 2019 application was refused by Oxford City Council's planning committee because of its scale, density and height would appear 'intrusive' and it would result in the loss of significant trees within the site.

A statement from a member of the association said: "The plans are essentially the same with some tinkering – lowering the height of some buildings and increasing others, repositioning some blocks, reducing the amount of trees to be felled.

"Most of the buildings will be between four and six storeys and will be clearly visible from the city centre.

"Most existing buildings in Marston, with the exception of some existing student blocks lower down the hill, are two-storey.

"Brookes has not taken on board the comments made in the first application nor the comments of local residents during the community engagement they led prior to lodging the latest application.

"We need to make this known to councillors determining this application."

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The association added that the current application falls into the 'repeat application' category where developers are known to 'try their luck' again and again until they get the planning permission they seek.

If approved by Oxford City Council's planning committee, work would begin in September, with a plan to be completed in two phases.

Phase 1 would be completed in December 2023 and Phase 2 in August 2025.