ATTEMPTS to build two new boarding houses on the grounds of a private school near Wimborne have been approved by council planners.

The proposals by Canford School make up part of its wider development masterplan for the educational establishment.

The scheme will see each new boarding house provide accommodation space for 52 to 56 male pupils, with the new buildings earmarked for ground next to two existing boarding houses at the southern end of the school.

Delivering the accommodation space will allow boarders to move out of historic buildings in the centre of the school grounds, which have not been ideal for various reasons, including fire safety, supervision and safeguarding.

The planning application was approved by BCP Council's planning officers.

A report from case officer Margo Teasdale said: "The site allocation and Poole Local Plan supports the Boarding House development.

"Given the care taken to design a building and landscaping that is appropriate for the site, the replacement boarding house is considered to preserve the Canford Magna Conservation Area and to enhance the setting and prominence of the Listed Grade II Court House."

The application also included the demolition of the Old Courthouse, which is a listed building, although this sparked objections.

A letter from a representative of The Society for Poole, a group that works to promote the town's history culture and people, said: "On behalf of The Society for Poole, I am instructed to object to this proposal which fails to explain adequately why a Listed Building should be demolished, rather than be properly maintained."

Assessing the Old Court House demolition, Ms Teasdale's report said: "The demolition of the Old Court House is considered to be harmful although the harm has been considered to be less than significant and outweighed by the public benefits of providing a replacement boarding house that improves the historic interest, setting and use of the Court House."

It is planned that each new boarding house will include a common room, games room, TV room, lounge, and kitchen, as well as study spaces.

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