Village school plan on the table

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Plans to build a new primary school and village hall in Bletchingdon were set to be agreed on Thursday this week.

Landowner the Duchy of Cornwall has applied to build a primary school and playing field along with a village hall, shop, 18 affordable homes and 40 market homes on a nine-acre site off Station Road, to the north-west of the village.

Last year, representatives from Bletchingdon CofE Primary School approached Cherwell District Council (CDC) officers over the possibility of creating a new school.

The school in Weston Road dates back to 1870, and had a prefab classroom added in the ‘90s. But the school has never had its own hall, and the Victorian building is becoming increasingly expensive to maintain.

Demand for places is also rising, and children from the village can no longer be guaranteed a place. Council officers have recommended the plans for approval.

Headteacher Louise Hatton said: “It’s a superb project. The residents of Bletchingdon have been working very hard for the past few years to build a new village community hall and school.

“Our school is no longer viewed as being fit for purpose, owing to increasing numbers of pupils and lack of space to extend.

“As a community, we are very excited at the prospect of working with the duchy and the local authority to provide facilities to support parents of newborns through to more elderly residents, and to be able to bridge the gap between generations.”