MAJOR renovations are planned at a historic York school, which has been the scene of much planning controversy.

St Peter's School, Clifton, has received approval from City of York Council to replace doors and windows and reclad an existing art and science block after an existing porch, greenhouse and canopy is demolished.

Planners agreed with the school that the existing metal cladding to the art and science block is ‘in poor condition’.

Together with single-glazed windows and glare from the sun all year, this causes overheating in the summer and cold in the winter.


Instead, modern insulated ‘rainscreen cladding’ consisting of textured panels and aluminium framed windows will ensure energy efficiency.

Planners also agreed that re-cladding the exterior would extend the life of the building, without affecting the residential amenity of neighbours. Therefore, the works would preserve the listed building and conservation area, thus meeting local and national planning policies.

The approval comes as St Peters seeks to site three temporary cabins to use as classrooms for 18 months on a landscaped area south of the existing Pascal Building.

A fresh planning application says the school has many listed buildings, plus others erected in the 1960s and 1970s. These later buildings, especially, need renovation to make the ‘fit for purpose’ for contemporary education as well as meet today’s energy standards.

It continued: “This work in many cases includes new roofs, walls, windows, doors, heating, lighting and rewiring, as well as moving some internal walls and the usual IT improvements, redecoration, finishes and furniture.”

The school has worked with architects to plan the work but as it could not all be done over summer holiday periods, with much scheduled over the next three years, alternative teaching space would be needed.

Most of the major work would be located in the former Queen Anne’s School, now occupied by St Peter’s 8-13 school. For operational and safeguarding reasons, the temporary classrooms must be on the campus site. This would also minimise disruption.

Renovations would include recladding works to younger years, internal works to Nursery, Reception and Year 1. Other classrooms, toilets and changing rooms would see internal works. A conference room, library and gym would be upgraded. A science block would receive a new canopy and its labs reconfigured for senior use.

The application concluded any harm to the area would be temporary, and it would be outweighed by long-term public benefits, such as extending the use of and improving the appearance of existing buildings.

In February this year, St Peter’s, which is the fourth oldest in the world, dating back to 627AD, with former pupils including Guy Fawkes, withdrew plans for major sports facilities after much opposition from neighbouring residents. Planners had recommended refusal for the scheme, first submitted in November 2022. It was withdrawn just days before it was due before planning committee.