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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 January 2008, 12:52 GMT
Cancer centre delay over path row
The wall built across the proposed route for the public right of way
A vast wall has been built over the planned new route for the footpaths
A major new 125m cancer centre in Oxford may not open on time because of a row over public footpaths.

The Cancer and Haematology Centre, on the old Churchill Hospital site, is due to open in the summer.

But the unit's developers have built a vast wall over the planned new route for two public footpaths.

The county council said the centre could not legally be handed over to Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust until new rights of way were created.

New routes have now been earmarked, and the Oxfordshire County council's planning committee will decide on Monday whether to fast-track the necessary diversion orders, so they can be created as soon as possible.

However, they warned it could still take five or six months to process, and longer if there were any objections.

A spokesperson for Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, which will run the cancer centre, said: "Oxfordshire County Council is working closely with the developers to help resolve this issue as quickly as possible."

"The trust is confident, however, that this matter will be resolved and that we will be able to take over the building this summer, as planned.

"We would like to reassure patients that this will not affect patient care and that cancer services will continue to be provided throughout this development."

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