£8.2m academy plan looks set for approval

£8.2m academy plan looks set for approval

Oxford Spires

Head Sue Croft

First published in News

PLANS for an £8.2m business centre scheme at Oxford Spires Academy have been recommended for approval by city planners.

Councillors have been asked by officers to approve the proposals, which mark a new era for the school.

The Reuben Business Centre will house ICT suites, a laboratory, sixth-form centre and a 330-seat lecture theatre on the East Oxford site.

The scheme has been designed by Harwell-based Nightingale Associates, and will be built by Kier Construction, based in Newbury, Berkshire.

In a report to councillors ahead of next Tuesday’s east area planning committee meeting, planning officer Andrew Murdoch endorsed the plans.

He said: “The proposed development would make an efficient and appropriate use of previously developed land in order to improve the existing academic accommodation for the school.

“The proposed extensions and alterations would be of a size and scale that would create an appropriate visual relationship with the built form of the original school grounds and the character and appearance of the wider area.”

He said the extensions had been designed to safeguard the residential amenities of surrounding properties and “would not create any adverse impacts upon the local highway, trees, or biodiversity”.

He added: “The proposed development would therefore accord with the relevant national planning policy and policies of the current development plan. No third party objections have been received.”

The project is being funded with cash given to the school when it relaunched as an academy last year, along with a donation from The Reuben Foundation, the charitable arm of the Reuben Brothers’ real estate company.

Academy headteacher Sue Croft, pictured, said she was pleased with the recommendation.

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted. It’s such an exciting project and it’s going to offer so much for the youngsters and the local community.”

The application was submitted by the academy’s sponsor, the CfBT Education Trust, which selected Nightingale and Kier for the design and build.

CfBT’s head of property services Chris Austin said: “CfBT Schools Trust is pleased to have appointed Nightingale and Kier as part of a ‘batch’ to work on projects relating to our free school and academy portfolio.

“We are looking forward to working with them on the works at Oxford Spires to create innovative education spaces that will see our students thrive.”

Comments (3)

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3:00pm Fri 5 Oct 12

Feelingsmatter says...

"The project is being funded with cash given to the school when it relaunched as an academy last year, along with a donation from The Reuben Foundation, the charitable arm of the Reuben Brothers’ real estate company." Would that money be government money? I thought we couldn't afford to buy anything at the moment, so how come this school gets such a huge amount of money? I mean it's nice that schools can get funding for such worthwhile projects, but I don't understand how we as a country can afford it.
"The project is being funded with cash given to the school when it relaunched as an academy last year, along with a donation from The Reuben Foundation, the charitable arm of the Reuben Brothers’ real estate company." Would that money be government money? I thought we couldn't afford to buy anything at the moment, so how come this school gets such a huge amount of money? I mean it's nice that schools can get funding for such worthwhile projects, but I don't understand how we as a country can afford it. Feelingsmatter
  • Score: 0

7:39pm Fri 5 Oct 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Feelingsmatter wrote:
"The project is being funded with cash given to the school when it relaunched as an academy last year, along with a donation from The Reuben Foundation, the charitable arm of the Reuben Brothers’ real estate company." Would that money be government money? I thought we couldn't afford to buy anything at the moment, so how come this school gets such a huge amount of money? I mean it's nice that schools can get funding for such worthwhile projects, but I don't understand how we as a country can afford it.
Don't think about it too much. Economics is a complex matter.
[quote][p][bold]Feelingsmatter[/bold] wrote: "The project is being funded with cash given to the school when it relaunched as an academy last year, along with a donation from The Reuben Foundation, the charitable arm of the Reuben Brothers’ real estate company." Would that money be government money? I thought we couldn't afford to buy anything at the moment, so how come this school gets such a huge amount of money? I mean it's nice that schools can get funding for such worthwhile projects, but I don't understand how we as a country can afford it.[/p][/quote]Don't think about it too much. Economics is a complex matter. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

9:54pm Fri 5 Oct 12

Myron Blatz says...

WRONG again, Andrew! More income tax and council tax payers should be involved and taking an interest in such spending and planning decisions being taken on their behalf. As for theses 'academies' sprouting up all over the place, they just seem to be 'window dressing' and academics and politicians trying to re-invent the educational 'wheel' across the UK. Seems several of the more 'successful' academies appear to be a cross between a grammar school and borstal - especially in those parts of the UK where schools have historically had problems (old way of saying 'issue') with anti-social behaviour, truancy and poor results, often because such schools were unable to attract experienced and capable teachers, and run by questionable local education authorities and administrations.
WRONG again, Andrew! More income tax and council tax payers should be involved and taking an interest in such spending and planning decisions being taken on their behalf. As for theses 'academies' sprouting up all over the place, they just seem to be 'window dressing' and academics and politicians trying to re-invent the educational 'wheel' across the UK. Seems several of the more 'successful' academies appear to be a cross between a grammar school and borstal - especially in those parts of the UK where schools have historically had problems (old way of saying 'issue') with anti-social behaviour, truancy and poor results, often because such schools were unable to attract experienced and capable teachers, and run by questionable local education authorities and administrations. Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0

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