A SCHOOL has used drones to prove a five-storey student block will overlook its classrooms and changing rooms.
Photographs taken from the remote-controlled flying machines were handed to councillors by Headington Preparatory School as part of a campaign against plans for the neighbouring 167-bed accommodation.
Despite safeguarding concerns and objections to the size, Oxford City Council’s planning review committee voted on Wednesday to approve the development by Frontier Estates.
A condition was applied that screening would be put in place to ensure nobody could see into the school building.
Oxford City Councillor for Headington, Ruth Wilkinson, said: “I am very disappointed.
“I do not think the councillors fully understand what the impact would be of such a large, bulky, development on rising ground and in a very prominent location in Headington.
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“Nobody was contesting a more reasonable size building – for example three storeys.”
The original plans were turned down by the east area planning committee back in December following concerns over safeguarding and the five-storey height of the building having a negative impact on the character of the area.
School bursar Richard Couzens said: “We are not happy with the outcome because of the close proximity to the school. That will have a direct impact.
“But our issue now is working with the council officers and developer to find a screening mechanism that is acceptable to us .”
Frontier Estates will now work with the council and school to come up with a design to restrict views from the school-facing windows.
This will then go back to the council for approval before construction can begin.
Frontier Estates director Mike Mansell said: “Obviously we are delighted. We are committed to working with the council, Headington School and others who had concerns.
We will do everything required to show the issue can be dealt with.”