PLANNING officials will decide whether to grant permission for a new sixth form college which would see the demolition of the existing health centre and creation of new boarding accommodation at Canford School.

Listed building consent is sought after for the new college, which would create boarding accommodation of 119 en-suite bed study rooms with attached principal’s and vice principal’s accommodation consisting of one four-bedroom house and three three-bedroom flats.

The existing boarding house at Montacute House would be converted into educational facilities.

Canford School has submitted the application, and architects William Lester has provided a design statement.

It said: “A new dedicated sixth form college is integral to the development and future-proofing of Canford School as part of the Canford School masterplan.

“The aspiration is for a collegiate character to provide pupils with an experience that will allow them to easily adjust to university. The college will have an Oxbridge feel based around a college courtyard concept with inspiring but sensitive architecture.”

The developers said to achieve this aim, Montacute House would become a sixth form hub comprising of allocated workstations, a communal social facility for 180 pupils and a ‘your future zone’ which will provide a careers and high education facility for pupils.

It said it will relocate boarding lodges into a newly constructed facility, comprising boys’ and girls’ lodges in separate wings of the L-shaped building, and a new central outdoor space which will “provide a vibrant communal amenity for the whole sixth form”.

The existing health centre and masters house would be demolished to create the boarding accommodation.

William Lester said: “The health centre and masters house are of little architectural value and out of character with the rest of this part of the school.

“The buildings do not have level access and access is limited. Their domestic scale and layouts do not lend themselves to the necessary functions of this part of the school.

“By demolishing these buildings there is the opportunity to provide better facilities for the school, to improve the school offering and bring the teaching campus together.

“Canford School has a historic and well managed landscape, as recognised by the Dorset Gardens Trust. The proposals will not adversely affect the wider landscaping of the school estate.

“At present this site is walled off between Montacute House and the health centre. As part of the new Sixth Form College, new formal gardens are proposed in the quad.”

A public benefit statement from the school said: “Canford School already provides an impressive range of community, public and charitable benefits, as well as its more immediate educational benefit.

“The proposed developments arising through the Canford development masterplan will allow an increase in the benefits and access opportunities for the wider community.”

The neighbour consultation expiry date is June 1.