Oxford University Colleges’ plans to build student accommodation for over 100 students have been approved by the city council’s planning committee.

Hertford College, Kellogg College and Reuben College’s proposal to build new student halls in North Oxford for 136 students was approved last night (May 23) despite concerns being raised about noise by a University of Oxford professor.

The green light from the council means the colleges now have permission to build single study bedrooms, six duplex flats and a pavilion, which will contain a common room, and a Southeast Asian Studies Centre.

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Land will be redeveloped to the rear of Winchester Road and on Banbury Road and Bevington Road so 130 new graduate student rooms can be built across six new buildings.

Oxford University Professor Richard Katz, who lives on Winchester Road, raised concerns about the plans - despite admitting that his job exists for students.

At the meeting, professor Katz urged the committee to reject the proposal as he claimed the development could cause “sewage flooding” and did “not demonstrate sustainability”.

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Before the planning hearing, professor Katz suggested students may need reminding that they are not entitled to noisy parties, to littering and public drunkenness.


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If students display such behaviour, the professor warned the community will take coordinated action as appropriate.

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Professor Katz has admitted he is “impressed” with the proposed designs for the buildings and has listed his comment as not objecting but “neutral”.

Last night, professor Katz also admitted the development would “reduce pressure on the Oxford housing market by creating student housing”.

The professor’s wife, Lucy Cloover, also works at the university, and professor Katz has said they are both fond of Oxford’s students but the neighbourhood remaining quiet was of “paramount importance” to his family.

Both professors strongly objected to Greene King’s application to extend the opening hours of the North Parade pub The Gardeners Arms earlier this year.

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Back in February, they both raised noise concerns in response to the pub’s successful efforts to stay open until 1am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Some of the buildings, such as 43-45 Banbury Road, are already in academic use.

The Oxford School of Global and Area Studies will now be able to share a department with the Southeast Asian Studies Centre.

The Southeast Asian Studies Centre will be on Winchester Road and student accommodation will be within the gardens of the villas along Winchester Road and Banbury Road.

On Bevington Road, the colleges have permission to build a new student café, alongside the conversion of existing buildings to student accommodation and a porters lodge.

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Ed specialises in writing political stories for the Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times. 

He joined in the team in February 2023, after completing a History undergraduate degree at the University of York and studying for his NCTJ diploma in London.

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