A PRIVATE school near Wimborne is applying for planning permission to build two new boarding houses on its grounds.

Canford School has submitted the proposals as part of its wider development masterplan.

According to its application, submitted recently to BCP Council, each new boarding house will accommodate 52 to 56 male pupils.

The buildings will be built next to two existing purpose-built boys’ boarding houses at the southern end of the school.

Boarders are currently housed in historic buildings at the centre of the school grounds that are “difficult to manage and control in terms of fire safety, supervision, safeguarding controls, and outdoor space”, the school says.

It says new accommodation is needed which better meets national minimum boarding standards and building regulations.

“The main school building (Grade I listed) and adjacent Monteacute House (a non-designated heritage asset) currently accommodate two boys’ boarding houses known as School House and Monteacute House respectively.

“The significant heritage assets’ character and physical constraints mean it is both undesirable and impractical to improve these facilities to meet modern day standards,” the planning application states.

“The existing accommodation is increasingly difficult to manage and control in terms of fire safety, supervision, safeguarding controls, outdoor space and so forth.

“Boarding spaces do not need to be near the centre of site and this can release some wonderful rooms on the upper floors of the former manor house to the wider school community, all accessed via the grand staircase. Currently these spaces are restricted to use by members of a single boys’ boarding house.”

Each new boarding house would include a common room, games room, TV room, lounge, and kitchen, as well as study spaces.

There would be a mixture of single and twin rooms and dormitories for pupils, along with staff accommodation.

A public footpath that crosses the site of one of the proposed boarding houses would require a “minor local diversion”, the school says, which will be subject to a separate planning application.

At the start of the year Canford School applied to the former Poole council to divert another public footpath that ran through its site after “serious concerns” over security.

As part of its masterplan, the school wants to improve its “dilapidated” and “small” staff common room, replace its library, and improve the dining area for boarders.

It is also currently building a combined cadet facility and range for its pupils.