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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 20:48 GMT 21:48 UK
Library 'will ruin spires view'
Proposed library
Critics say the new library will ruin the view of Oxford
Plans to build a new store for Oxford's renowned library have been criticised by conservationists in the city.

The University of Oxford's Bodleian Library stores a copy of almost every book ever printed, with an extra 5,000 added to its catalogue each week.

The proposed new depository at Osney Mead, a flood plain, will be able to hold nearly eight million books.

However, critics have claimed the building will spoil the city's world famous skyline.

'Wrong place'

The Bodleian is the main research library for the University of Oxford and occupies several sites around the city.

Debbie Dance, of Oxford Preservation Trust, said: "Where they want to put this depository is in the wrong place.

"It's in the foreground of the dreaming spires view that everybody knows and you'll see it right across the front and see the spires rising above it.

"Our visitors and residents when it's here will say 'how on earth was that allowed to happen?'"

We're part of the dreaming spires and we want to protect these views too
Dr Sarah Thomas
Bodleian Library

The university has claimed the new building, which will be sited on an industrial estate, will be protected from flooding.

Dr Sarah Thomas, from the Bodleian Library, said: "We're part of the dreaming spires and we want to protect these views too.

"That's why we have designed this building extremely sensitively with landscaping that minimises its impact."

An exhibition showing the plans will open in the Proscholium at the entrance of the Old Bodleian Library on Thursday.

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