Countdown begins for £3.3m school and hall

School chairman of governors Sue Green shows, from left, Sam Robins, five, Charlie Brown, seven, and Esme Brown, 10 plans for the new school and village hall. Picture: OX67568 Denis Kennedy

School chairman of governors Sue Green shows, from left, Sam Robins, five, Charlie Brown, seven, and Esme Brown, 10 plans for the new school and village hall. Picture: OX67568 Denis Kennedy Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Health reporter, also covering Kidlington. Call me on 01865 425271

AFTER six years of waiting, work will finally begin on a major project for a new school and village hall in Bletchingdon.

Work will start next month on the complex in Station Road.

The £3.3m project will replace the 1870s Bletchingdon Primary School, in Weston Road, which will be sold along with the existing village hall in Station Road.

Bletchingdon Community Foundation’s Vikki Robins said: “This project is pretty unique in the UK – it has been driven by and defined by the villagers.”

More than 100 of the village’s 910 residents have been involved in the project, to be completed by next summer for a September 2015 opening, said Mrs Robins.

The foundation has raised a third of the cash through land sales and £40,000 from fundraising including bake sales and business donations. The rest has come from Cherwell District Council, Oxfordshire County Council and The Duchy of Cornwall, which owns the new site.

A further 58 homes are planned for the new site with the first show home expected to open by November.

Mrs Robins said: “We have an excellent school but it is vulnerable because we can’t expand it any further.

“It is an old Victorian building and is expensive to maintain. It is not fit for purpose.

“The village hall is pretty much falling down, it is not used by the people any more. It is not well lit and is expensive to run.

“Community take-up of it has completely dropped off, there is a real disconnect within the village.”

The new school will be in a quadrant style with one side used as a village hall and a secure corridor linking it to the school.

On the site of former farm buildings, the school will provide 120 places compared with 76 now. And the scheme, approved by the district council, will have 18 affordable homes and 40 open market, mostly two- and three-bedroom.

Mrs Robins said: “It will help a lot of second generation families who can’t afford to move out of their parents’ place to have their own home.”

The school has not yet gone on sale and she said any buyer will legally have to keep the outside structure, for example if it was turned into a home.

School chairman of governors Sue Green said: “It is absolutely amazing. We are so lucky to have the opportunity of what will become a wonderful combined school and village hall.”

Planning permission has been given by the council for four terraced homes at the former village hall.

Villagers gathered at the site of the new development on Sunday, June 1, to mark the forthcoming work.

Mrs Robins said: “We had 150 people come to the celebration.

“We had everybody there, from old pupils right through to youngsters playing on hay bales where their new school will be.”

• Our top stories:

Firefighters battle loft blaze in Witney

Oxford Mail: Fire engine Oxfordshire

10:01am Sunday 21st December 2014

FIREFIGHTERS were able to stop a roof fire spreading and destroying the rest of the house last night.

What brilliant picture is in our Oxford Mail Advent Calendar today?

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Tuesday 9th December 2014

December is Advent Calendar time and we have a special new interactive graphic for you each and every day until Christmas Eve. I've chosen the best 24 pictures of 2014 and I'll be unveiling one a day - so what is behind's today's door?

Skye Hall's family: Our first Christmas without our brave son

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

LOOM bands are taking over the house of Skye Hall’s family as they prepare to spend their first Christmas without the brave youngster who died in August.

Hudspeth backs councillors in demand to be told man's pay in allowances row

Oxford Mail: Ian Hudspeth

8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

OXFORDSHIRE County Council leader Ian Hudspeth has backed councillors Rodney Rose and Kevin Bulmer who asked a voter to reveal his wages when he challenged them over a 19 per cent hike in their allowance.

Two arrested for GBH after man injured in fight

Oxford Mail:

5:24pm Saturday 20th December 2014

Two teenagers from Witney were arrested last night after a man suffered a broken arm.

Oxfam "accepts" tweet ruling

Oxford Mail:

2:23pm Saturday 20th December 2014

OXFAM has said it accepts criticism from charity regulators over an alleged “party political” tweet about a “perfect storm” of poverty.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree