Bloxham School is a thriving independent coeducational school that supports children aged between 11 – 18 years to reach their full potential.
The School required a solution to increase boarding facilities in order to facilitate growth and deliver on one of its key visions to achieve a more equal balance of male and female pupils. A team of consultants collaborated to analyse the constraints and opportunities of the whole school campus and developed a school masterplan to promote a number of proposals to local stakeholders, including the local planning authority.
Within the masterplan, a proposal was put forward to sensitively extend the School’s Grade II listed building, Stonehill House, in a way that would enable an additional 40 school boarding places, as well as provide a new common room for the pupils, and associated tutor room.
In the case of Stonehill House, the site was located within the Bloxham Conservation Area and directly adjacent to a Grade II listed building. It had limited vehicular access, with difficult structural challenges, which included those related to ground conditions and the condition of a large retaining wall. The site was also in close proximity to neighbouring residential properties, and therefore, amenity and privacy were key considerations.
The project included the demolition of outbuildings, reinstatement of an existing ruined Coach House, erection of a two-storey timber-clad extension and link structure, insertion of an internal wall to the listed building, and associated works. An existing external courtyard archway was constructed with new bespoke timber doors incorporated to become a key part of the design.
We developed a robust planning strategy and collaborated with the local planning authority to ensure that feedback on key parameters, constraints and opportunities were communicated between the parties and effectively informed the scheme. As part of the case submission, we prepared a comprehensive Planning Statement to justify the scheme design and demonstrate why the benefits of the scheme strongly outweighed the challenges presented.
Understanding the importance of building a rapport with the local planning authority, we proactively engaged with the local planning officers for pre-application discussions and continued effective post-submission dialogue. This essential engagement enabled us to produce a robust submission and assisted the overall smooth-running planning process.
In 2021, planning consent was successfully granted. Following this, we swiftly discharged planning conditions and works were fully completed in 2023, and pupils have moved into the new facilities.
“The extension project is the culmination of several years’ work in which Bloxham School has looked at the best option for expanding its boarding options. Edgars has supported the school to navigate its way through the notable difficulties of having a restricted site set
within a conservation area, coupled with listed building status and other sensitivities.
At a time when communication has been difficult, Edgars has managed the project team and the School’s aspirations in line with the masterplan, engaging with all stakeholders throughout the process on both the client side as well as the planning process consultees. Getting to a successful planning application has been a great team effort and we are indebted to Edgars for their involvement.”
Bursar, Bloxham School
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