The historic Morrell's Brewery site in Oxford is finally ready for redevelopment after planning officers were left to sort out the last few details.

Oxford City Council's planning committee voted to approve developer TH Kingerlee and Sons' £15m scheme.

But responsibility for rubber-stamping the plan was delegated to planning officers subject to the developer providing sufficient social housing, public footpaths and a contribution towards traffic calming in St Thomas's Street.

Company chairman Jonathan Kingerlee hoped work could begin on the site in September or October.

He said: "It's a big step forward for us and we are very pleased."

As part of the scheme, which will see 79 new homes, the developer has agreed to keep the best of the original buildings and the landmark brewery chimney.

Mr Kingerlee said: "It's a bit of a mixture. We believe our scheme will very much tidy the site up. It will take away some of the old tatty stuff.

"We think it's a very exciting scheme."

Planning committee chairman John Goddard said councillors saw a link between the brewery site and the nearby BT site, which was given planning permission for development last year.

There will be a small public square between the two developments.

He said: "The two sites, when they are developed together, will make that part of the city centre, which has been ghastly, a more attractive place to live. It will open up views of St George's Tower."

But local councillor and planning committee member Colin Cook warned that the application may have to be reconsidered if planners and developers can't agree on the final details.

He said: "I think, overall, it will be of benefit. We didn't get as much social housing as we might have.

"I have real fears we will end up with a lot of investment companies coming in, buying them up and letting them out on short-term lets to people who are not going to contribute to the community that exists in St Thomas's."