Oxford University’s plans to construct further graduate accommodation near Port Meadow have come under renewed fire as the Campaign to Protect Rural England recently announced it would back protesters and fight planning permission for the development at the High Court level.

Moreover, in a recent letter to the Vice Chancellor the City Council has also warned the University it may need to reduce the size of the buildings, citing the possible “existence of further compulsory remedial steps…
including discontinuance proceedings in respect of the whole development.”

One member of the Campaign to Save Port Meadow from Oxford
University commented, “We are pleased to see the letter from Cllr
von Nooijen to Vice-Chancellor Hamilton, and we welcome what
appears to be a growing awareness on the part of the City Council, at least, that the impact of the Roger Dudman Way blocks on Port Meadow is simply unacceptable. I think Councillors also now recognise that public concern is not going to abate.”

However a spokesperson for the University responded, “The University has acted in good faith throughout this process, in line with all the proper procedures. A review conducted by Oxford City Council planning officers confirmed this and agreed that the University acted properly when securing planning permission.”

The University spokesperson further stated, “We take our role as guardians of the beauty of Oxford seriously. Every significant development project in Oxford… requires a careful balance of interests… The skyline of Oxford is a constantly evolving blend of the old and the new, the natural and the built.”

Delia Lockey, a first year student at University College, commented, “I care about Port Meadow in that I like the environment but to be honest I haven’t heard that much about it whilst I have been here.”