A GOVERNMENT inspector will decide whether a building in Jericho can become a restaurant after officials at Oxford City Council were not able to decide which street it is in.

The building in question is on the corner of Walton Street and Little Clarendon Street and is currently three empty shop units.

Shirehall Properties, the building’s owner, wants to turn the three units into one restaurant after failing to find businesses that could take them on.

The city council has separate planning policies that apply to Walton Street and Little Clarendon Street, setting out what proportion of shops and restaurants there should be in the areas.

And planning officers and councillors were not able to decide which of the two policies should apply to the building, meaning it took too long to make a decision and an appeal was launched by Shirehall Properties.

City councillor Colin Cook, a member of the West area planning committee, which discussed the application on Tuesday, said: “I have asked officers to point me to the policy statement which says that this part of Walton Street is in the Little Clarendon Street area and they have not been able to.

“I would argue that something on Walton Street really belongs in the Walton Street area.

“I appreciate there is some element of this site that is in Little Clarendon Street but we have to take both policies into account.”

Applicants can launch an appeal if a council takes more than eight weeks to decide whether to approve a planning application or not.

The only exception to this is if the council and applicant have an agreement in writing to extend the timeframe.

Shirehall Properties submitted its planning application on February 14 and a decision was due by April 17.

City councillor Elise Benjamin said: “It is very close to high-density residential property.’’ The applicant’s agent was at the meeting in Town Hall did not speak and when the Oxford Mail approached him he declined to comment.