A PLANNING application for new student accommodation blocks, that would house an extra 500 students, has been rejected for a second time.

Last night, Oxford City Council’s Planning Committee met to issue planning permission to Oxford Brookes University to redevelop its accommodation site at Clive Booth Student Village, on John Garne Way in Headington.

The university had asked to demolish twelve existing buildings and erect twelve buildings in its place.

The new buildings were set to have six stories and house approximately 500 more students on the site.

It also wanted to create a children’s nursery.

Following several concerns from members of the public, most councillors on the committee voted against plans to proceed with the planning permission.

Concerns voiced during the meeting included loss of biodiversity, the height of the new blocks, and the fact residents' fears were being ignored by a ‘powerful institution’.

Of the councillors present seven voted in favour of refusing the application, and four voted against the motion.

Previous plans to redevelop the site at Clive Booth Student Village were rejected unanimously by councillors in 2019.

After this plan was rejected, the university revised the application and reduced the height of the buildings.

The redevelopment of Clive Booth Student Village is recognised in the Oxford Local Plan 2036 – which was adopted in June 2036.

The plan set a threshold that no more than 4,000 Brookes students live outside university-owned accommodation.

Speaking after the decision was made, Tessa Hennessy, secretary of New Marston Residents association, said: “We are absolutely delighted, it has been a source of huge concern and stress and to see this hideous development which is very similar to the last development thrown out again, it’s the right decision, it’s a just decision and local people will be so pleased about it because there has been a lot of concern in the local community.

“I would like to add that I think that we accept that it is an area for student housing, we have never disputed that, but the actual conservation area and the location of that housing must be sensitively delivered and that is something that they did not take on board.

“They did not take on local concerns from the webinars they held, and they came back with a set of plans which were virtually the same as the last plans and it’s right that they have been thrown out again.”

Oxford Brookes University has since made a statement on its website.

It said: "We are disappointed that planning permission for the redevelopment of Clive Booth Student Village has not been granted despite a recommendation for approval by planning officers, recognition of the redevelopment in the Oxford Local Plan and extensive public engagement resulting in significant changes and improvements to the previous application.

"The University will now consider next steps in relation to this proposed development which would benefit students and the wider community."