22/00863/LBC

Grandpont House Abingdon Road Oxford OX1 4LD

21 June 2022

Refurbishment of Grandpont House including rebuilding of the existing outbuilding range to the west of the existing house and works to the boundary wall along Abingdon Road including the formation of a new entrance through that wall.

This site is in itself fascinating – so green and watery that it could hardly exist anywhere outside Oxford – and the survival in so central a position in the city of a listed Grade II* Georgian family house built for his family by the then Town Clerk of Oxford makes its survival particularly important. Grandpont House is not large but it is a genuine family house built in 1785 art a time when
the site was in Berkshire as it remained until joining Oxfordshire in 1889. After occupation by families for some time it was then lived in by dons until its use since 1959 as an educational establishment now seeking to enlarge its resident living numbers to 21 (13 study bedrooms in the new building and 8 in the refurbished old house) by building to replace a series of outdated out buildings and by modernising the facilities in the main house to currently expected standards for domestic accommodation and use collectively. The main part of the house will not be altered structurally. The new building is situated away from the old house so that is does not detract from the character of Georgian house. Oxford Civic Society find the proposals to have been carefully constructed after repeated and responsive consultation with the planners. The result will be to give the old house a new lease of life with acceptable facilities combined with its historic  associations; the new building and its linking covered corridor to the old house has its own acceptable character subservient to the main house. We find persuasive the soberly argued piece put forward by Oxford Archaeology who conclude that “the proposed development will cause a minor (less than substantial) level of harm to the listed heritage assets and that this will be more than outweighed by the benefits of sensitively updating the internal spaces and ensuring  the building’s continued use”. We take the view that the best way to ensure the conservation of valuable assets is to make sure that they have a viable modern use.

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