Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Friday, 5 February 2010

University building 'could damage Oxford's skyline'

Rhodes Building
Rhodes Building (above) and the proposed changes

Historical campaigners have warned of the "damaging" effect proposed changes to Oxford University's Rhodes Building would have on the city's skyline.

A planning application has been submitted by Oriel College to raise the building to accommodate 11 more students.

The Victorian Society said that would cause an "inappropriate intrusion" on the city's views.

College architect Marcus Beale denied it would have a substantial impact.

He said: "Our approach would modernise the building but we would use conservation principles. We have specifically designed the roof so as not to spoil the skyline."

But Kristian Kaminski, of the Victorian Society, said the view from St Mary's tower would change, if Oxford city councillors backed the plan.

"Oxford's historic roofscape is one of its important characteristics and it is therefore disappointing to see proposed alterations which would harm it," he added.

The Rhodes Building opened in 1911 and is Grade II-listed.

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