Sir – On hearing that the animal laboratory in Oxford had officially opened, I went to have a look at the building. I was hoping to see a dramatic improvement in the appearance of this architectural abomination.

Unfortunately, it is still an absolutely hideous building that resembles Alcatraz, with its barbed wire and lookout posts. Surely this shoddy fence is not a permanent fixture?

Mansfield Road is an historic street and surely deserves better treatment than this.

The building and surrounding wall is completely out of alignment with all the other buildings in the street and creates a very dangerous blind spot for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. This contravenes good planning practice and I am amazed that the planning department has sanctioned this misalignment.

Has a mistake been made? The new building is too far forward on the pavement.

I sincerely hope that the fence is replaced with stylish wrought ironwork at the very least. Our historic city cannot be treated in such a cavalier fashion by the planning department and furthermore the lack of visibility caused by this structure poses a substantial danger.

Susan Thomas, Oxford