CANFORD School has been given permission to develop a dedicated 180-place sixth form college on its existing site at Canford Magna.

The private school will demolish the existing health centre and masters house to make way for 119 en-suite bed study rooms with a new four-bed house for the principal and three 3-bed flats for vice principals.

Current boarding fees at Canford are a little over £13,000 per term.

The existing boarding facilities at Monteacute House and ground floor Wimborne House, part of the same building, will be converted to teaching use, the exterior largely unaltered.

It will allow the school to relocate all its existing upper sixth board lodges into one new building to the east of the new sixth form hub with boys and girls accommodation in separate wings. The new building will be adjacent to a library, currently under construction.

None of the school’s neighbours made any comment about the application and Historic England said that while it admired the design of the proposed building was concerned that the scale and mass of it, when combined with the three-storey Monteacute/Wimborne House proposal would ‘challenge’ the main house views.

However local planning officers disagreed with the view reporting that the development would not detract from the main house and would be “a positive addition to the site enhancing its character and appearance.”

The school’s application said of its proposal: “The school’s objective is to implement a modern and strong sixth form offering. The proposed new boarding accommodation will provide much needed flexible accommodation and overall improved facilities for the upper sixth form. The layout and design of the boarding accommodation is intended to provide a university style experience for upper sixth formers to ensure an easy transition to further education, while respecting and enhancing the heritage and character of the school. These proposals will help to ensure that the school remains the best.”

Nine parking spaces will be lost as a result of the new buildings but highway officers say that given the size of the site the number is insignificant.