Oxford residents ask council to reconsider student development

Staff and parents in Oxford are calling on the local council to reconsider a planned student housing development that would overlook the East Oxford Primary School. The development, which has received planning permission from the housing committee, would consist of 26 flats for local students, but parents argue that the project has the potential to put children attending the school at risk.

They have been backed by staff from the East Oxford Primary, who have suggested that the school is in the process of being surrounded by student housing, with the planned entrance to the new housing complex being through the school’s car park. The head teacher of East Oxford Primary, Susan Widgery, has written to the council, expressing concern over the safety of children, if the development goes ahead. She stated:

“We have concerns about health and safety in general. There is very poor access to the car park anyway, and it seems inappropriate to us that there should be a building of this size there without its own access.”

Parents have also expressed serious reservations over the development, on the grounds that the lifestyles of students are liable to come into conflict with the needs of children attending the school. Tracy Byatt, whose child attends East Oxford Primary, said:

“I live round students all the time, and there are problems with rubbish and noise, even in the day time.”

Twelve of the city’s councillors have supported the move to call-in the original decision in favour of the development.

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