RUSKIN College says its scheme to build homes on Ruskin Fields is back on the table.

The college’s hopes of building 150 homes on Ruskin Fields, beside the Oxford ring road, looked to have received a major blow when the council left it out of the Barton Area Action Plan.

A planning inspector has ordered Oxford City Council to revisit the scheme, on the grounds that the council had not properly examined the college’s submission.

Ruskin had wanted the scheme to go before a planning inquiry as part of the wider scheme to build 1,200 homes at West Barton, on the other side of the ring road.

But a planning inspector’s intervention means the Ruskin Fields proposal must now again go out to public consultation and back before the full council.

Old Headington residents who opposed developing the green land are now urging the council to stand firm.

The principal of Ruskin, Prof Audrey Mullender, said: “The council must now go back and revisit the whole thing. It had not looked at all the information that we submitted. It opens the door but it remains to be seen whether anyone goes through that door.

“We want to see Ruskin Fields given full and fair consideration as a potential area of much-needed housing. “We firmly believe we can enhance the conservation area through sensitive development. We can also provide an alternative pedestrian and cycle route across from Barton if it proves desirable to avoid Stoke Place.”

City council spokesman Christopher Lee said: “The city council has agreed to re-run an environmental assessment of the Ruskin College Fields proposal and appraise the technical information from Ruskin previously considered by the council. And it will take account of further information recently submitted by Ruskin College.

“The re-run assessment will be published for consultation in advance of a further hearing session on Ruskin College Fields at the end of September.”

But Veronica Hurst, co-chairman of the Ruskin Fields group of Friends of Old Headington, said: “We will be keeping a watching brief. Ruskin has the opportunity to have the whole question reopened and we are concerned about that.

“Ruskin clearly sees this as a new opportunity to be included in the Barton Area Action. “We hope that the city council will not change its mind.”

The ruling on Ruskin was the second blow delivered to the city council by inspector Dr Shelagh Bussey at the inquiry into West Barton last week.

Plans to impose a 40mph speed limit on Oxford’s ring road have been dropped to leave the city council’s vision of an ‘urban boulevard’ in tatters.

The 40 mph limit was a key element in the city council’s plans to create 1,200 homes on the edge of the city, with some of the new homes facing out onto the ring road.

But the inspector finding a 50mph limit more suitable for the major arterial road. The council is now faced with revising its plans before the inquiry resumes in September.