New twist in Oxford yoga school saga

Oxford yoga studio mock up Image copyright Oxford City Council
Image caption Downward facing faces: Neighbours are dismayed at the decision

A yoga studio has been given planning permission, despite neighbours claiming it will "disturb the lovely and peaceful life" they enjoy.

The centre in East Street, Osney, Oxford, will replace an old sculptor's studio which was built in 1926.

The campaign group Save Osney's Studio also claimed the new two-storey building would not be in keeping with the area's conservation status.

Architect Adrian James said it would replace a "decrepit" one-storey unit.

Vernon Orr, who has lived in East Street for 25 years, said there was no need for the facility.

"Around the corner we've got a yoga studio that's already open seven days a week. There's plenty of yoga on offer here.

"We don't want to see ourselves as 'Nimbys', but there must be better places for a yoga studio than in the middle of this beautiful street."

Image caption Vernon Orr and Bianca Elgar have complained about the design of the yoga studio, and the footfall of yoga enthusiasts

Designer Bianca Elgar, who lives next to the soon-to-be-demolished studio, said: "It [the new building] will disturb the lovely peaceful life here on Osney.

"There'll be constant coming and going from 7.30am until past 9pm seven days a week.

"People will be gathering outside to chat before they can go in."

At an Oxford City Council planning meeting James Pritchard, who put in the application, said visitor numbers would be far lower than the potential 1,400 yoga fans a week the studio could accommodate at maximum capacity.

Mr Orr said: "To knock down [the current building] and replace it with a two-storey house or studio is wrong.

"The design is very unusual.

"It's copper-cladded, chocolate-coloured with the most unusual placement of windows and doors."

It is the second time the city council has approved the plans.

Image caption The new yoga studio will replace a sculptor's studio built in 1926

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