OXFORD Brookes University’s plans to put a maintenance unit on its £132m library and teaching building have reignited a bitter dispute with its neighbours.

Brookes wants to put the unit, pictured, on the top of the building at its main Gipsy Lane campus in Headington.

Residents said they were shocked to hear a fresh planning application is to be submitted, with work already under way on the library which they campaigned bitterly against.

The unit would provide a hi-tech window cleaning system on a rooftop track.

The unit would allow a cradle on a jib to be lowered down the side of the building.

But residents who fought over months to secure a reduction in the height of the library building by a storey, say they are upset Brookes has waited until now to put the proposal forward.

The chairman of Headington Hill Residents’ Association, Susan Lake, said: “We feel this has been sprung on us.

“It was not part of the plans that Brookes put in.”

She added: “It is going against what the city council approved.”

Brookes registrar Paul Large said: “We’ve consulted on this application and we’re committed to continuing those discussions as part of the planning process.

“We believe this is a better and a safer way of maintaining the facade of our library... it is lower than the tallest point for which we already have planning permission, and we hoped to use the opportunity provided by the planning application to fund some landscaping in our neighbours’ gardens.”