A SCHOOL in Taunton wants to demolish a boarding house and replace it with four new homes.

A previous application by Queen's College for the scheme was blocked by planners.

But the school has come back with a modified proposal for the project at the three-storey Channon House, in Wild Oak Lane, Trull.

The plans submitted to Somerset West and Taunton Council are for four two-storey five-bedroom homes with family and ensuite facilities, along with open plan living and dining space with kitchen and utility areas.

If permission is granted, Queen's would be able to sell the land at a premium.

A submission to the council says: "The development will provide direct benefit to the school business of Queen's College, by the uplift in value of the site created by a grant of planning permission.

"This is a significant benefit to education provision within the area and carries significant weight in the determination of the application."

It adds that the development would bring "clear economic, social and environmental benefits" in an area where "there is a need for further housing growth".

"The development can be delivered without significant adverse impact upon the environment or ecological interests, drainage and flood risk, highway safety, residential amenity, heritage assets, visual or landscape character, or other interests of acknowledged importance to planning."

The previous application was rejected in September after planners ruled it would impact on the Somerset Levels and Moors by adding to the already excessive levels of phosphates there.

The council also decided Channon House is "a notable positive building" in an area between Trull Road and Haines Hill conservation area; there was insufficient information to show the required highways standards could be met; and the development would be "cramped and out of keeping with the character of the area".

Queen's decided to close Channon House boarding house and move all students on site for safety reasons as it is half a mile from the main campus down an unlit road with no footpaths.

Channon House, which features spacious grounds, provided a "home from home" for Upper Sixth boys, with entertainment, games, a karaoke machine, a piano, cooking facilities and sofas.