AN EXTENDED basement with a swimming pool underneath a North Oxford house should go ahead, council planning officers have said.

Oxford City Council will decide at a meeting tonight whether the plans for the house in Farndon Road can go ahead.

Craig Burkinshaw has applied for planning permission to build a side extension onto the house on the corner of Farndon Road and Warnborough Road and dig out a basement underneath it which would be used for a swimming pool, gym, sauna room and two guest bedroom suites.

But despite objections from neighbours as well as bodies such as Oxford Civic Society and Oxford Preservation Trust, city council officers have recommended the scheme for approval.

In a report they say: “Whilst it is recognised that the application is both unusual and ambitious in its vision, upon its completion its impact on the immediate environment and on the conservation area is not such as to warrant refusal of planning permission.”

Objectors said the plans would be out of character with the surrounding neighbourhood.

Neighbour Mark Haddon, who wrote the hit novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, raised concerns about noise and inconvenience construction work would bring.

The application was called in to the west area planning committee, which meets tonight at 6.30pm in the Town Hall, by city councillors Jim Campbell, James Fry, Louise Upton and Susanna Pressel.