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Plans to convert former Wetley Rocks school into homes submitted

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: July 05, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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PLANS have been submitted to convert an existing schoolhouse and buildings into three homes.

The application has been put forward by John Pointon and Sons Limited for the former St John's School in Mill Lane, Wetley Rocks.

Proposals included the restoration of the former schoolhouse and the conversion of the former St John's School buildings to form three dwellings, one single-bedroom unit and two two-bedroom units.

The building is redundant following the relocation of the school to a new site further to the west.

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The development would be accessed by car from Main Road, and by foot from Mill Lane and Main Road.

A design and access statement on behalf of the applicant said: "The council has granted permission for an access road as part of a development of six houses to the rear of the application site.

"Because of concerns about adoptability, the parallel planning application proposes a different access but maintains the principle that it would serve the development proposed by this application.

"The field over which the amended access is proposed has been included in this planning application.

"For highway safety reasons, it is proposed to convert the school to three dwellings only following the development of the six houses. To ensure that this is the case, the council is invited to condition the planning permission so that it cannot be occupied until the access road to Main Road is satisfactorily completed.

"Car parking for the proposed three dwellings will be provided off this new access road. The schoolhouse will use roadside parking which it has historically always done.

"Given the nature of the proposal and its location, it is considered that the context that will influence the proposal is the character of the former school buildings, the character of other buildings nearby and the character of the village of Wetley Rocks."

The application buildings became vacant following the erection of a new school about 150 metres to the west of the site about 15 years ago.

The premises that are proposed to be renovated and converted are single and two-storey gabled buildings.

The design and access statements adds: "The application building is in a sustainable location. It is structurally sound and has a character that is of worth.

"The proposed works will not harm that character and will not impact on the character of this historic asset that is St John's Church."

The application is supported in a report by Derek Torr of estate agent Whittaker & Biggs. Mr Torr said: "The property has been widely advertised on the internet and newspapers and also displayed in our offices. It is still currently marketed. In our opinion these premises have been available over six months with minimum response and therefore we ask the local authority to approve the proposed applications."

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