NEW details have emerged of Ruskin College’s controversial plans to build houses on part of its Headington campus in Oxford.

Proposals include between 175 and 193 homes on a three-and-a-half hectare site which lies within the Old Headington conservation area.

The development would be a mix of two- and three-storey buildings on land between Dunstan Road in Old Headington and the bypass.

Opponents say it would harm the character of the area and set a dangerous precedent.

Proposal details have been included in an Oxford City Council consultation document on how that area of the city should be developed.

The council is planning an estate of up to 1,200 homes at Barton West, on the opposite side of the A40 bypass to the Ruskin site.

But the authority has stressed the Ruskin plans, which would need planning permission, have only been included in the consultation so the impact of development in the area can be considered.

It said it remained neutral on the Ruskin proposal and it was not linked to its own plans.

The idea of a large housing estate on a green field site within the conservation area has proved controversial.

Sarah King, chairman of the Friends of Old Headington Conservation Area, said the group and residents were strongly opposed to the Ruskin plans.

She said: “It is a very precious green space. It is within the conservation area that was extended in 1998 to include those fields.

“It would be very bad from an Old Headington point of view and would set a precedent.”

The council’s consultation document, to be published next month, states the development would link up with the proposed Barton West scheme, providing 100 affordable homes, but would impact on the character of the Old Headington Conservation Area.

The council is asking for views on the proposals along with views on its own plan for Barton West.

The Ruskin development, known as Ruskin Fields, was first mooted late last year.

Prof Audrey Mullender, principal of Ruskin, said: “Ruskin College is pleased that the consideration of potential development for Ruskin Fields is going forward into wider public consultation.

“Clearly, there is a range of views about the fields. The college is concerned about the need for additional housing in Oxford and feel we can help with that.

“We are aware that the location would need thinking about carefully.”