PLANS to demolish an old MOT garage and replace it with two blocks of flats are up for discussion again, after two previous attempts to build on the site.

Biggin Morrison Investments Ltd wants to build a four storey block of flats and a bungalow on the site of an old garage at Lime Walk, Headington.

The company has previously applied for planning permission to build similar flats at the site in 2017 and 2018.

The first application was refused and later won permission on an appeal, while the second was withdrawn by Biggins Morrison.

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Now, a third application is being considered by Oxford City Council's east area planning committee tomorrow, but this is also likely to be turned down.

A report written by city council officers said they had weighed up the balance between an 'efficient use of the site', and the harm the new buildings could cause to neighbours.

According to the report, the size of the new four-storey flat block would be too large and would look out of place with nearby two-storey homes and a student accommodation block at Dorset House.

The officers also said there had been no tests of whether the flats would overshadow a neighbouring office building.


The lane leading to the land off Lime Walk where the flats could be built. Picture: Google Maps

The report said: "The harm identified is considered to outweigh the benefits of the scheme and would result in overdevelopment of the site."

The council staff who wrote the report were also concerned with the small amount of green space attached to the plans, and said while some upper floor flats had balconies, more green areas should be made available for those would did not have one.

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The newest application to build at the old garage site is slightly different to the two previous versions.

The two previous applications would have seen a three-storey block of flats built at the site.

When the first scheme was refused, the city council said it did not think Biggin Morrison was offering enough money to build affordable homes elsewhere in the city as part of an agreement.

The latest version of the application seeks to add a floor on top of the previous two versions of the scheme, but the city council is not planning to ask for money to build affordable homes this time.

This is because the council is changing the part of its local plan where developments of nine homes or less have to pay to fund affordable homes.

See planning reference 19/03303/FUL at the Oxford City Council planning website for more information about the proposals for Lime Walk.