The former St Mary Bredin School on the Ring Road will be torn and replaced with student flats if planners give it the nod next week.
Officers are recommending that Canterbury City Council’s planning committee grant the scheme by architect Guy Hollaway consent.
But opponents fear it will create a tunnel of high rise building in Rhodaus Town and means the loss of an attractive historic building.
The application before the committee is for 146 student bedroom in 17 “cluster flats” arranged in four- and five-storey buildings.
A report going before the committee states that the owner and applicant, Canbury Holdings, is the same firm behind the neighbouring Palamon Court student development.
“[The] scheme is described as an annex to that development, with the two sites, for example, sharing the same management company and a number of amenities such as basement cycle parking,” says the report.
“The service access route for Palamon Court will also serve this development. The scheme will be car free and a legal agreement would prevent students bringing cars into the site, other than at term start and finish.”
Among those objecting to the scheme is Canterbury City Council’s own heritage department.
It said: “The proposal would result in harm to the Canterbury conservation area and result in the loss of a characterful and attractive former school.”
Numerous individual as well as the Canterbury Society have also criticised the proposal. Society chairman Jan Pahl questioned why it needed to be so tall, adding that it threatened to significantly change the city’s urban landscape.
It also called for a full archaeological excavation of the site.
The Oaten Hill and South Canterbury Association, meanwhile, pointed out that the former school sits on an 11th century mound created as a defensive measure for the city.
Canterbury Christ Church University also opposes the scheme, arguing that there is enough student accommodation in Canterbury already.
The planning committee meets in the Guildhall at 6.30pm on Tuesday.