PLANS for new flats on the site of Oxford United’s old Manor ground home are worrying residents in Headington.

A £1.8m housing association project to build 27 flats in two three-storey buildings was last week awarded to Newbury-based Feltham Construction.

The company said work off Beech Road would be under way by September and completed within the year.

But neighbours fear their roads will become filled with lorries and traffic, reminiscent of work on the private hospital there 10 years ago.

Beech Road Residents’ Association spokesman Bob Clarke said: “When the original building work started on the Manor Ground, the lorries would park on the pavements, causing a nuisance and thousands of pounds worth of damage.”

The Manor Hospital opened in 2004. The planning application for the flats was submitted in April last year.

Another Beech Road resident, who lived in the road for 30 years, said: “When they were building the hospital, access was directly from London Road, but a certain amount did come down Beech Road and caused damage to the drains and mangled the edge of the pavement.

“This road was previously a cul-de-sac, but now it is a busy road with access to the hospital.”

The 70-year-old added: “We are worried that if you throw this into the mix, the problems will worsen.”

The plans are to build 12 one-bedroomed flats, 15 with two bedrooms and 20 car parking spaces. Access to the finished flats will be via London Road and Osler Road.

Osler Road resident David Emeny, 63, said: “I think the flats are a good idea, but there are a number of problems that need to be resolved.

“The parking is always a problem round here since many of the parking spaces were taken away.

“These flats should have been built when the original hospital was built to avoid these problems in the long term.”

City councillor Ruth Wilkinson said: “There is huge demand for affordable housing in Headington, and I share residents' concerns that work should start as quickly as possible once the paperwork is signed off.”

Feltham director David Yates said: “Feltham Construction is delighted to have been selected as the principal contractor, working again with the Oxford Citizens’ Housing Association to create new and affordable housing for the citizens of Oxford.

“The construction of the new buildings will take approximately 40 weeks commencing at the end of this summer.”