Green light for new St Edburg’s CofE School

The Kingsmere housing development,Bicester.'120125M-C427
The Kingsmere housing development,Bicester.'120125M-C427

A new multi-million pound home for St Edburg’s CofE School has been given the green light by Oxfordshire County Council this week.

Plans to create a new school site as part of the Kingsmere development were approved on Monday after around £6.6million had been earmarked for the project back in February.

The replacement school will accommodate around double the previous number of pupils, offering 450 spaces.

The old St Edburg’s School site in Cemetery Road is due to be sold once the transfer to the new site is complete. The county hopes to raise around £700,000 from the sale of the site, which is due to be invested in schools around Bicester.

Members of the county’s planning and regulation committee approved the new Kingsmere school on the grounds that the, “development would provide a valuable community facility, necessary for the success and vitality of the new development.”

The new two form entry primary school will have a floor space of 2,500 sqm, with 14 classrooms for pupils aged three to 11.

A bell tower, car parking, a parent drop-off point and a coach lay-by will also be provided.

It is proposed that the new bell tower will house the existing school bell as a continuation of the school’s heritage.

Building work is set to start this September, and the new school site is due to open in September next year.

A comment posted on the St Edburg’s School website said: “Finally OCC have agreed to allow us to build our new school.

“The children, staff and governors are delighted. September 2014 here we come!”

The county council said the positioning of the new school had been designed with the safety of pupils and parents in mind.

It said the new building will face the main community square within the 1,500-home Kingsmere development, with an open area in front of the school to create a welcoming feel.

The building will be built with high levels of insulation, and could have photovoltaic cells fitted on roofs at a later stage.

However, Cherwell District Council raised several objections over the design of the new school.

It said the school should be designed as a ‘landmark building’, and said the building would have, “no presence onto the square by the local centre.”

It also said the plan, “fails to provide a building of the highest quality to reflect its importance as a landmark building.”

Visit www.st-edburgs.oxon.sch.uk for a timeline of the building work and further details.