A 300-BED student complex will be built in Headington despite fears its elderly neighbours will be kept awake at night.

Berkeley Homes won permission to build 313 rooms for Oxford Brookes University students on the former Dorset House School site in London Road.

Oxford City Council gave the go-ahead despite pleas from residents, including those in retirement flats and a nursing home, that late night student noise would lead to a clash of lifestyles.

Developers and council planners said 24-hour on-site wardens would manage any rowdy behaviour.

But Sandy Russell, the general manger of the McMaster House retirement flats, said her residents deserved peace and quiet. She told the council’s strategic development control committee the site for her flats had been chosen as it was a “quiet location in which people could enjoy their twilight years”.

Mrs Russell said the building work would disturb residents, who have an average age of 86.

She added: “It will be followed by a lifetime of students returning at all hours.

“We all know large groups of youngsters can be noisy, especially if they have had a few drinks.

“I appeal on behalf of our residents. They fought wars for us and the least we can do is let them live out their years in peace and quiet.”

Her views were echoed by Catherine Grogan, chief executive of the neighbouring St Luke’s Hospital nursing home. The proposal is for a lodge house and two accommodation blocks on the site with three and four storey elements.

In accordance with city planning regulations, students would not be allowed to run cars.

But residents in Latimer Grange also told the council’s strategic development control committee the four storey blocks of student rooms were overbearing.

However councillors backed their planning officers’ recommendation for approval, although they have made it a condition that a small area of the site is redesigned to prevent overlooking.

A management agreement, including wardens, will also need to be agreed by the council and financial contributions will be made to traffic improvement measures and local libraries.

Steven Sensecall, the agent acting for Berkeley Homes, said: “This is wholly appropriate use for the site. It is hard to think of a better site between Brookes and the Headington shops.”