School awaits growth verdict

Herald Series: The entrance The entrance

Plans for the expansion of Headington Prep School are set to be given the go-ahead.

The project includes building a new two-storey entrance foyer, a first-floor extension to provide storage and teaching areas and a two-storey extension for a cloakroom.

In its planning application, the London Road girls’ school said: “This proposal will improve the facilities and working environment for the school’s staff and will also provide a better learning environment for its pupils.”

It adds that the plans would “ensure that the school is more productive and able to provide benefits to society as a whole”.

Headington Prep School, which is a feeder for the girls’ senior school on the other side of London Road, occupies a two-and-a-half acre site.

A previous planning consent caps the number of pupils at 280, and Headington School says it has “no intention” of seeking to increase the number. Designers said the impact of the extension on the area would be “limited”.

Oxford City Council planning officers are recommending that the application is approved by councillors.

In their report they said: “The proposed extensions and alterations would be of a size and scale that would create an appropriate visual relationship with the built form of the original house.”

They added the design “maintains the importance of this building and its grounds as a heritage asset”.

Only one resident has written to the council objecting to the proposals. Mark Pitt. of The Croft, said parts of the plans were “ugly and discordant” and were “ totally out of keeping with the character of the oldest and finest building in an incoherent part of Headington”.

The council’s east area planning committee will decide the application at a meeting at Oxford Town Hall, in St Aldate’s, at 6pm tomorrow.

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