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first_imgOxford City Council has approved plans for a 300-bed student complex to be built in Headington for Oxford Brookes students, despite fierce opposition from local residents.The student accommodation will be built on the former Dorset House School site on London Road, in close proximity to retirement flats and a nursing home. When plans were announced, the council received numerous complaints regarding potential noise pollution in the area.The chief concerns centred around a potential clash of lifestyles between the students and local residents. The residents of nearby retirement flats have an average age of 86. Fears were expressed that the process of building the three- and four-storey buildings and introduction of students to the area would disrupt the quiet for the elderly residents in the area.Whilst in accordance with city planning regulations, students will not be allowed to park cars in the area. Residents have voiced discontent with students potentially parking in streets that do not enforce residents\’ parking permits. Concerns have also been aired of student cyclists posing a threat to the elderly residents.Other complaints relate to the design of the buildings, which have been labelled \’overbearing\’ and \’an eyesore.\’However, Brookes university regards the site as a good location for halls of residence as it is situated between Oxford Brookes and the Headington shops. Residents have been assured that wardens will be on site twenty four hours a day, to quell any drunken or rowdy behaviour and prevent sleepless nights for neighbours.A spokesperson for Oxford City Council said, \”We consider all planning applications on their individual merits. We take in concerns and comments from residents through the consultation process.\”In addition we assess proposals against our planning policies that we have to follow when granting or refusing planning permission. In this case the Council decided that there were important benefits in providing student flats to help reduce the number of students sharing in family housing and that the possible impacts on adjacent residents could be suitably controlled by using planning conditions.\”The issues regarding the new halls of residence appear to confirm an increasing sense amongst local people and home-owners that Oxford is effectively becoming a \’student ghetto,\’ overrun by members of the city\’s two universities.One Brookes student said, \”I can understand the concerns of locals with regards to a clash of lifestyles, as it is common knowledge that halls produce a lot of noise pollution, especially in contrast to a retirement home. It is important to note the necessity of a quiet and calm environment in respect to the well-being of members and staff at the retirement homes.\”However she noted that, \”Oxford is home to one of the oldest universities in the word, therefore the city shall and always will be dictated by its student population\’s lifestyle and needs.\”Âlast_img read more