A PLAN that has already got the go-ahead but that councillors fear could ‘adversely affect’ a key part of Oxford will be reconsidered after complaints it is too tall.

The project to ‘reinvigorate’ Northgate House – on the corner of Cornmarket Street and Market Street – was approved by councillors last month.

However 14 have said they want it looked at by another planning committee, stressing that a proposed tower would be too tall if it is built in its planned form.

The current plan would see it built to 21m.

Now, a group led by Liberal Democrat Paul Harris, said the plan must be reconsidered. He has been supported by Lib Dem, Labour and independent councillors.

On July 10, councillors agreed five-to-three at the west area planning committee in favour of the Jesus College-led project.

But Mr Harris and supportive councillors said the tower ‘does not appear to be an essential or integral part’ of the development, ‘the rest of which has been generally welcomed’. That would include a teaching room, a cafe and 68 rooms for postgraduates.

Councillors can call-in a planning decision – whether it has been approved or rejected – if 12 or more of them disagree with it.

Mr Harris said: “To me the most important aspect is that this is the heart of the city centre, the conservation area: there has been a policy for a years that new buildings in it should not exceed 18.2 metres.”

The site is also just metres from the city’s treasured Covered Market.

It has been reduced in height from initial plans and would be built to a height of 21.3m.

Two recent applications – led by St Hilda’s College and New College – have been approved despite exceeding the height limit.

Mr Harris said his objection lay with the tower: “It is not a graceful spire, it is a block-like concrete tower any looks very unattractive.”

He said it had the possibility of causing a ‘real issue with implications for the future’, including a ‘fashion of colleges’ building tall towers across the city. The rest of the development, he said, was ‘very positive’.

Mr Harris’ call was backed by colleagues who, like him, voted against the project at the planning committee.

They were the Lib Dems’ group leader Andrew Gant and Labour’s Nadine Bely-Summers. Executive board member Louise Upton, who supported the proposal, also said it should be heard again.

A planning review committee meeting will be held on August 20.