The decision to allow Oxford Brookes University to build a new 361-room student hall has been criticised by residents.

Brookes has been granted planning permission to build the new halls, which could be four storeys high in places, on land at the junction of Marston Road and John Garne Way.

Planning permission was granted for the development at a meeting of Oxford City council’s strategic development control committee last month, despite objections from individuals, three residents’ associations and the Oxford Preservation Trust.

Curt Lamberth, 43, of William Street, who is also a member of the New Marston Wildlife Group, was one of those who raised objections.

Dr Lamberth said: “Their design is completely unsympathetic with the surrounding area, it’s far too big and quite frankly is going to look horrible.

“The effect of the development is going to be enormous in this area and given its size it will impact on people’s homes near to the site.”

Dr Lamberth said he felt the council had not listened to people’s concerns on the matter.

He added: “It wouldn’t have taken much to lower the front storey by one storey and change the facade to something that residents were happy with.

“But they have come up with this creation which is quite disgusting.”

Jack Straw’s Lane Residents’ Association secretary Marilyn Cox said she and her neighbours were concerned by the impact of the development. She said: “The number of students living on the site is a worry and our objections were in relation to that.

“We are disappointed that it’s going to be such a big development.”

Marston Road resident Sunil Vaz, 43, said: “The number of students in the area is a worry and if Brookes let the rooms to foreign language students in the summer, then it will be an all-year-round problem.”

Mr Vaz also pointed to the fact the development only provided parking spaces for five cars.

He added: “The university will say that students are not supposed to bring cars, but what about when term starts and everyone arrives, what about their friends?”

As part of the condition of granting planning permission, Brookes has agreed to donate £21,660 towards city sports facilities, £22,743 to libraries and £49,818 towards the local cycle path and pedestrian networks.

Brookes director of estates and facilities, Ian King, said: “We have undertaken to reduce the number of students living in private housing in Oxford as part of the city council’s local plan, and are serious about this commitment.

“This site, on brownfield land, is owned by the university and is well-placed given its position in front of the existing Clive Booth Hall.

“The plans have been designed with great care to strike a balance between being sensitive to the local area as well as ensuring the best possible use of the land.”