HEREFORD Cathedral School is examining its options in light of the criticism received over plans to build a boarding house for its students.

The Victorian Society was one of a number of bodies that wrote to Herefordshire Council to object to the school’s application to develop the former county records office.

Should permission be given, the independent school plan to buy the plot in Harold Street, Hereford, demolish the building and replace it with a three-storey home for 49 pupils.

The building, which dates back to 1856, has been empty since August 2015 after the records office moved to a new premises in Rotherwas. The Harold Street site was then declared surplus to the council’s requirements.

James Hughes, a senior conservation adviser at the Victorian Society, said the school’s proposal would “needlessly and harmfully deprive the area of a locally significant historic building”.

In a letter to Herefordshire Council planners, he wrote: “We object to the demolition of Hereford Militia Depository, which would divest the area of one of its most important buildings – an impressive and well preserved example of the work of the noted architect John Gray, one with great adaptability and potential for reuse- and a significant manifestation of local history

But this week the Cathedral School said they have “noted the concerns regarding the local historical interest in the previous militia offices”.

Sophie Corness, the school’s marketing manager, added: “As custodians of a range of listed buildings we are all too aware of the associated compromises and additional costs. We’re currently looking at the impact of design changes and additional costs associated with retaining the original building.”

When asked if this would see the planning application changed, she replied: “No, it means that we are examining the options.”