In 2012, some new student flats suddenly appeared alongside the railway line, marring the historic view of the city from Port Meadow. This led to a storm of protest and a ‘Save Port Meadow’ campaign. After four years, including a High Court appeal and several public consultations, the University agreed in 2016 to take measures to mitigate the impact. These included tree planting, repainting the walls a mid-tone buff colour, and replacing the orange timber with a more natural cedar look.
Two years on, there is some scaffolding on the site now, but nothing much seems to have happened. We asked the City about the the delays, and they provided this information:
“The latest that the planning officer dealing with the case has had from the University about their development programme is:
“At the present time, much of the work is being prepared off site and this includes tree inspectors, green wall manufacture, design of the planters, window casement manufacture, design of the solar fins, louvres, and window surrounds. The main contractor is currently organising a number of contractors to work on installing the mitigation measures and when this all arrives on site there will be more visible activity.
“The University have confirmed that Beard are currently working on the badger run foundations, and are securing the relevant agreements with Network Rail regarding scaffolding design.
“The works are not going as quickly as many would like, but build projects are by their nature complex matters and it is common to have delays for varying reasons. The timetable has slipped from the phasing plan in part because of time taken on the procurement of the main contractor. The University has a revised programme and the works are progressing in accordance with this programme.”