Plans for expansion of a Banbury area school submitted to Cherwell District Council

Bloxham School has collaborated with a variety of technical consultants to develop a proposal to extend its property, Stone Hill House, which is presently its smallest boarding house.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 5:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 5:28 pm
Bloxham School has collaborated with a variety of technical consultants to develop a proposal to extend its property, Stone Hill House, which is presently its smallest boarding house.

The application submitted to Cherwell District Council has said the extensions are required to accommodate the forecasted growth in pupil numbers – specifically girls’ boarding – in the coming years. The applicant contends an extension of existing boarding houses is the most sustainable and logical solution to the increased demand, rather than building a brand new boarding house.

The extension will provide two floors of accommodation, and is positioned to the west of Stone Hill House and to the north of the remains of the coach house.

The proposal includes restoration of the walling, infilling with materials to match where applicable, and providing a new pitched zinc roof of the existing ruined coach house. At present the walls of a coach house remain, however this structure has no roof and is therefore open to the elements.

Bloxham School has collaborated with a variety of technical consultants to develop a proposal to extend its property, Stone Hill House, which is presently its smallest boarding house. (Image from the pending planning application)

The plans also involve the demolition of some outbuildings: Both the existing single storey outbuilding and single storey garage will be demolished as part of the proposal.

The site is located within the Bloxham Conservation Area. The application said the latest Bloxham Conservation Area Appraisal (CAA) identifies this part of the Conservation Area as a ‘School’ character type.

The proposal has been fully informed by a Heritage statement, undertaken by Heritage Collective (HCUK Group). The application is accompanied by the Heritage statement, which investigates the significance of the site and property, architectural and historical values, archaeological values, heritage setting and the context of the Conservation Area.

According to the plans, the Heritage statement said the current condition of some of the external areas of the site are ‘neglected.' The statement also said the Heritage review showed the pending proposed scheme to be sympathetic to the architectural and historic character of the building.

The Heritage Statement specifically found there would be no harm to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area for the property with proposed expansion plans.

To the west of the site is Old Park Farm Annex, owned by Bloxham School. To the south on the opposite side of the road are residential properties. To the north of the site is Stone Hill Cottage, also owned by Bloxham School.

The site of Stone Hill House is accessed from, and is located to the north of, Stone Hill road. This road leads westwards from the High Street of Bloxham. The property which is the subject of this application is located approximately halfway along the Stone Hill road.

Seven people from the village of Bloxham have submitted comments related to the pending planning application online through Cherwell District Council's website.

Several of the comments submitted involved objections with a similar theme from local residents who believed a modern construction as proposed does not retain the village

character and does not take into account the appearance of existing properties.

Anyone who would like to submit a comment on the pending planning application can use following web link to the council's planning portal: https://planningregister.cherwell.gov.uk/Planning/Display/21/01505/F