PLANS for a 300-student boarding school in Headington could be approved tomorrow despite strong opposition from residents.

Cotuit Hall is currently used as student accommodation for international sixth form the EF Academy but the proposals would see it expand and become a self-contained boarding school.

Almost 100 residents, who successfully fought off a similar scheme in 2013, have once again objected saying it would increase traffic and noise to the area.

It also contravenes Oxford's Local Plan which says residential buildings cannot be converted to educational institutions.

The building formerly housed just over 100 Oxford Brookes students it was sold in 2011.

The site has since been used as accommodation for students at the EF Academy at Plater College, also in Pullens Lane.

Its lecture hall and refectory buildings would be demolished to create space for 113 bedrooms up from 92 - to accommodate 244 students.

An extra 20 classrooms would mean that 300 students could be taught at the site.

The Headington Hill Umbrella Group, which represents 49 households in the area, said: "After adding in teaching and other staff, this represents a significant increase in the number of people living and working on the site - when compared with Oxford Brookes University's prior use.

"This is a high-density development even by urban standards and will undoubtedly result in addition activity and increased noise and disturbance.

It added: "Pullens Lane and Jack Straw's Lane are private roads and its junctions are sub-standard in terms of visibility for both vehicles and pedestrians."

Oxford Preservation Trust also objected with director Debbie Dance saying student accommodation should not be converted to an educational institution 'given the pressure on Oxford's housing stock'.

But council planning officers backed the plans and recommended councillors approved the scheme at tomorrow's meeting.

Their report read: "There would be a benefit from the improvement works to the original Cotuit Hall building.

"The pedestrian and vehicular movements associated within the proposed use would not be harmful to the local traffic and highway safety."

The officers added that an affordable housing contribution of £385,000 by EF Academy was enough for it to ignore the fact it fell outside the Local Plan policy.

Principal at EF Academy, Paul Ellis, said: "We are thrilled to be offering this plan to Oxford. If approved, it is going to provide a much better environment for staff and students to teach and learn in.

“Not only will moving to on site make logistical sense for the Academy and its students, but it will also benefit the local community. Reductions in students walking along the Lane; reductions in traffic; and a decline in noise and disturbance will all be good news for nearby residents.

“This development will keep EF in Oxford, offering a better service and environment to students and staff, and allowing us to maintain our commitment to the community through employment, investment and cultural advancement.”

Head of maths at the school, Barbara Garde, said: "Having all the Academy students on one site will significantly reduce foot traffic along Pullens lane.

"Our students are here to get a quality education and are thus committed to learning and are responsible likeable young people."