Somerville protects Bedford

Somerville Treasurer, Andrew Parker, and JCA Chair Charlotte Christie at the old school.
Somerville Treasurer, Andrew Parker, and JCA Chair Charlotte Christie at the old school.

Posted - November 11, 2016

College development plans will keep old school building

On November 10, at a public consultation meeting, Somerville College presented plans for new student accommodation which will face onto Walton Street. The JCA had earlier expressed concern that this would involve demolishing the old Bedford House school building in Walton Street next to the Coop, and in front of which the JCA had planted a community garden. The college has, however, decided to to incorporate the school building into its plans and indeed hopes to make the building (which it currently uses as a storeroom) available in future for community use.

The development will involve demolishing houses next to the school but will also open up views from Walton Street into Somerville by replacing the solid gates with a fenced one. Following the outcome of the consultation, the college hopes to apply for planning permission later this month, which would probably enable discussion by the West Oxford Planning Committee around March 2017.

The school was opened as a private school in 1877 to prepare boys for local examinations and closed in 1930. For a history of this building you can CLICK HERE.

Artist's impression of the new building next to the Coop

Somerville Treasurer, Andrew Parker, shows a model of the development to JCA trustees Jenny Mann and Fr Jonathan Beswick

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