What people have said

Ms. Candida March, 
I am incredulous that such an ugly, high rise block of building should be built in such a sensitive area of Oxford.
How did it get through planning permission!?

Catherine Clarke, 
This development is utterly out of keeping with its surroundings and would never have survived a proper consultation process.

Philip Pullman, 
Destructive, brutal, ugly vandalism. The City Council ought to be ashamed.

Dr. Tony Mcnally,
An astonishing act of stupidity even by Oxford City Council standards!

Dr. David Turton,
This is a senseless act of architectural vandalism for which the current leadership of the University will be justly reviled for years to come. What a monument!

Name not displayed    As a resident of Rewley Road when the consultation supposedly took place. We had no idea that there was a proposal to build these or that we could comment.No wonder – if we had known, we would have objected.

 Dr. Stephen Byrne, 
I’m shocked by this. I would like to know how Oxford University and/or Oxford City Council can ignore Port Meadow’s status as a Scheduled National Monument. I will write to my old college, Univ., and if I find out that any of its fellows were involved, I will cancel my endowments and change the (currently favorable) terms of my will.

Mr. Al James, 
A 21st Century Tragedy of the Commons – If Prince Charles is interested in carbunkles, then Oxford got Carbunkles….8 of them. Come along and have a look. BTW please beware that the tree planting is a greenish smoke screen in which the University and the Councillor on the radio is using to hide behind so they can continue merrily on with the development. Well done to all campaigners who are looking for a responsible and mature debate.

maggie jones,
This is more loved and used than the council realise. It’s time they learned how to value peoples opinions.

 Mrs. Catherine Barnes,
It is disgusting that the Labour Council has allowed this beautiful place to be disfigured by these hideous buildings. I grew up looking at this view and it is a disgrace that planning laws have not prevented this development. Shame on the Council. We should insist the height of buildings is reduced to reveal the spires again. Once lost, the view will never be reinstated.

 Mr. George Burnett-Stuart,
I am horrified by the height of these buildings. I assumed they would be no higher than the existing adjacent student buildings. What a disaster, after keeping the Waterside development to an acceptable, not too intrusive height.

Name not displayed, United Kingdom
I can understand the need for student accommodation, but surely in a town with Oxford’s heritage development should be carried out with a high level of sensitivity. These blocks are at least 2 stories too high, have no architectural merit and should never have received planning permission in their present state. What is the point of having planning laws if they can be so obviously flouted?

Sarah Cassidy-Odd, 
Returning to Oxford by train from the north I was horrified to see that the entry to this city is ruined by a banal,unimaginative housing project which has no visual merit.Worse it ruins the view from PortMeadow and the suggestion from the University that trees will eventually screen this abomination is ridiculous. What were the University and City planners doing when this project was accepted,asleep? Have they no visual conceptions for Oxford?

 Dr. Chris Norbury, 
Who is responsible for granting permission for this hideous development ?  It would look out of place even on the Costa Brava of the 1970s.

Name not displayed,
Oxford University & Oxford City Council have surpassed all expectations in this latest addition to Oxfords Weeping Spires, in its sheer brutality,scale,and ugliness,this cold war East German styled development will stand as a monument to philistinism for generations.Visible for miles,its full environmental impact ,yet to reveal itself,this sad and vile blot on Oxfords once beautiful landscape,begs to be removed.Lovers of beauty, weep & rage for beauty has been slaughtered at the Philistines altar !

 Mr. Mark Davies,  This is from The Spectator (1914): ‘Hitherto it has resisted all sophistication, and refuses to be turned into a city park with ordered drives and flower-beds and policemen. From Walton Well to Wolvercot it still stretches, a wilderness of green turf, the joy of the rider and walker, and the airiest meadow in the valley of the Thames. So be it, and so shall it be.’ But so, thanks to the City Council, it now isn’t, quite, to the same degree. Truly ghastly and worrying in terms of precedent.

Mr. Andrew Trinder,
To put it bluntly, any idiot can see the devastating effect these monstrous buildings have had on a beautiful place and a cherished view. Clearly though not the idiots who commissioned it, those that designed it and those that approved it. Shamefacedly trying to paper over the cracks by obscuring it with trees isn’t the answer. How many centuries will it take for them to grow sufficiently – if they ever will. And they will do little to lessen the light pollution the buildings will create. The only answer is to take it all down, brick by brick and not repeat the mistake. Oxford University – what were you thinking of?

 Ms. Rosemary Cameron,
It is shocking that there was no obvious public consultation and no indication that Roger Dudman way would suddenly be closed without warning for what has now been nearly a year now. The plans and information board are tucked away neatly out of sight by the river. There should have been a proper display by the entrance to Port Meadow so we could all have had a chance to discuss the application.

6 thoughts on “What people have said

  1. When I first read of these proposals I felt that student accommodation would be a good use of the land. My initial feelings have, however, turned to horror as the height and scale of the construction work has become apparent. I walk over and around Port Meadow at least twice a day and I have watched as these monstrosities have increasingly loomed over and invaded the quiet and privacy of paths around as well as across the Meadow. The final straw has been the external finish to the buildings. Who, in their right and reasonable minds, when designing buildings to blend in with a beautiful and natural landscape, would choose a grim pale grey – guaranteed to stand out and scream “look at us….aren’t we hideous”. Oxford University – and all those responsible – should be brought to task….this vandalism cannot be allowed to continue.

  2. Monday evening: a meeting to discuss ‘Planning Issues’..we all went …well all who had heard about it, as it was a strangely muted news item…One hour fifteen minutes being told how the planning system worked and fifteen minutes on the century’s worst defilements of a beautiful and much treasured view of the beautiful spires and towers of Oxford from Port Meadow. No apology, no understanding of the desecration of our environment. How was this allowed to happen by people whose salaries pay to protect our beautiful city?

  3. I was interested to read Mrs Cameron’s point that the proposal to build these sheds is hidden neatly out of sight by the river. So that’s how they managed to avoid protest before they started to build! Peter Brandt

  4. As a resident of Oxford until recently, and on behalf of my deceased father who in his retired years from the Royal Navy served as the Civil Defence Officer for Oxford, this is the most barbaric, hideous thing that could have happened. It is a National Heritage Site and a wild life preserve. How the University could have proposed and the City Council approved is an act of utter disregard for everything they have ever stood for.
    The citizens, students and academics should revolt and see that the buildings are removed!

  5. I have lived near Aristotle Lane for thirty five years and regard my daily walks on Port Meadow as my most precious, soothing daily experience. Now all I see, as I walk south from Burgess Field, is the devastating eyesore of these new student blocks. Port Meadow is beautiful, unique and much celebrated; an historic, iconic area of common land. It’s listed in the Domesday Book. Is the university criminally insane to be erecting such a structure? And where was the City Council? It’s heartbreaking.

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