The Congregation has voted against a proposal to remove the top floor of controversial student accommodation, Castle Mill.
Following over two and a half hours of discussion at a meeting held this afternoon in the Sheldonian Theatre, members of the Congregation voted against the proposal, with 210 in favour and 536 against.
The proposal to remove the top floor of the Castle Mill buildings came following an Environmental Impact Report published last year. Those opposing noted the potential cost of carrying it out – estimated by the University to be £30 million – and the effect on the graduate students who currently live in Castle Mill.
Supporters of the proposal noted the negative effect of the Castle Mill development on the “exceptional ancient landscape” of the local area, in particular Port Meadow.
Speakers during the meeting included Revd. Professor Dairmaid MacCulloch, who proposed the motion, and Louis Trup, OUSU president.
Comments made included “These buildings could have graced an East German city before unification” and “A Scotsman finds it difficult to spend £30 million on anything, far less on undoing something we’ve only just done”.
Prior to the meeting, a protest in defence of Castle Mill was held outside of the Sheldonian. Supporters on both sides of the debate handed leaflets to Congregation members entering the Theatre.
At the time of writing, this could still go to a postal vote.
For full coverage of the decision and protest, please see this week’s print edition of The Oxford Student, published on Thursday.
COVER PHOTO/Daniel Cunniffe