PLANS to transform an old school into housing have been withdrawn once again after councillors recommended they be rejected.

Developer U+I Group PLC had submitted proposals to build on the site of Bicester's former St Edburg's School.

The plans were due to go before Cherwell District Council's planning committee today, but U+I has opted to withdraw plans for the Cemetery Road site and think again.

U+I spokeswoman Emily Annable said: "The planning application for the Old School site has been withdrawn whilst we consider officer feedback.

"We are still committed to investing in the site."

The latest move follows original plans for 10 homes and a new restaurant on the site being withdrawn in July.

As now, concerns were then raised with the council, leading to the re-think.

U+I opted to resubmit the plans minus the restaurant, meaning it would just be 10 homes built at the site.

It is believed the developers hoped to come back to the committee with a separate plan for the restaurant at a later date.

At the time U+I said the plans were withdrawn due to "insufficient time to resolve outstanding matters" relating to the restaurant. However, the developer reaffirmed its commitment to keeping the original structure of the old school building and was said to be working on new plans for the site.

The latest plans would see homes built on the playing field of the former school, plus 10 car parking spaces and five visitors spaces.

But Cherwell District Council planning officers recommended the plans be refused following concerns over the loss of the school's sports pitch, a failure to preserve and enhance the adjacent conservation area and insufficient information on proposed vehicle access.

The report also added: "The development proposed is considered to result in unacceptable piecemeal development which would be detrimental to the visual amenities of the locality and create a poor living environment for the occupiers."

Previous concerns raised by councillors included worries about the narrow access to the site.

Developers have pledged to rethink the plans to address the concerns.

The plans will now go back to U+I's drawing board before being resubmitted to Cherwell District Council.