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College’s designs sent in to council
2:00pm Monday 21st May 2012 in Oxford
DETAILS of a controversial 400-student international academy in Headington have been revealed.
Swiss education firm EF is hoping to redevelop Cotuit Hall, in Pullens Lane, so it can be used for accommodation and teaching.
The plans have now been submitted to Oxford City Council.
EF bought the 19th century building last year from Oxford Brookes University, which had used it as a hall of residence.
Many nearby residents are concerned about the size of the proposed college.
Swee Roddie, who lives in Rolfe Place, said: “I am objecting, not to the principle of the development, but to its scale.
“Putting 408 pupils on to a site which originally held 120 leads to unacceptable congestion.
“The inevitable rise in noise levels would undoubtedly shatter an area known for its peace and quiet.”
Although Cotuit Hall, which was built in 1892, is not listed, it is in the Headington Hill Conservation Area.
While the original building will be retained, EF wants to put up three new three storey buildings in the grounds.
The buildings would be placed around a central pedestrian “street” running from one end of the site to the other. None of the new buildings will be higher than the existing ones.
The buildings will house 300 pupils and 13 live-in staff, as well as teaching space.
Another 100 pupils will live off the site in private rented accommodation in Oxford.
While at the academy they will be studying for A-Levels and the International Baccalaureate.
Project manager Anna Ireland said: “We fully appreciate the location of our school in Pullens Lane.
“As Pullens Lane is a private road, we fully recognise that an important part of our students’ education happens outside the classroom.
“We encourage our student body to keep their community clean with regular litter-picking, not only in the lane but also in the wider Headington area.”
Ms Ireland added: “We are not a speculative developer and we take the utmost care and interest in the design of our schools.”
A date has yet to be set for city councillors to decide whether or not to approve the project.