Critics say the building would ruin the view of Oxford
A public inquiry has ruled against Oxford University's plans for its world-famous Bodleian Library.
The university, which hoped to build a £29m depository at Osney Mead to house eight million books, said the ruling was a "great disappointment".
The project was approved by councillors in a narrow vote last year, but it was put on hold when critics said the building would ruin Oxford's skyline.
Councillors shelved the plans in a new vote, sparking the university's appeal.
Dr Sarah Thomas, director of Oxford University Libraries Services, said: "This is obviously a great disappointment, but the pragmatic approach is to move on.
"Tough decisions will need to be taken as we absorb the implications of this decision.
"The library has suffered from over-congestion in unsafe conditions for years because of our inadequate storage.
"The uncertainty over the planning situation has led to considerable expense in outsourcing collection storage, and our valuable books and archives in the New Bodleian remain at risk."
The library, which has a copy of almost every book printed, is full and the university has said it needs room to expand.
An extra 5,000 books are added to its catalogue each week.
The Bodleian is the main research library for the University of Oxford and occupies several sites around the city.
Its treasures include 10,000 medieval manuscripts, the papers of six prime ministers and the manuscripts of literary classics such as The Wind in the Willows.
Critics of the planned building have said the city's famous "dreaming spires" skyline would be ruined.
They also argue its proposed location would harm a "sensitive" flood plain in the green belt area around Oxford.
Councillor Colin Cook, Oxford's executive member for city development, said: "Following the decision by the planning inspectorate, the council will continue to work with the university to meet their aspiration for a much-needed book depository on another, more suitable, site."