Swindon Clifton Street School demolition plan refused

Clifton Street School
Image caption Clifton Street School was partially demolished last year which developers said was a mistake

A proposal to partially demolish a Victorian school has been refused by local authority planners.

Part of Clifton Street School in Swindon, which was built in 1884, was torn down last year even though permission had not been granted.

Developers G&D Estates, which wants to build 10 flats on the site, said it was an error and filed a retrospective application.

That has now been turned down Swindon Borough Council's planning department.

The developer could be forced to restore the part of the building it damaged by the council, which is "looking at all the legal options".

A council spokesman said: "Our planning officers considered that the harm in demolishing the former school would outweigh the benefits of redeveloping the site.

"Clifton Street School is a locally significant building and we will continue to do what we can to ensure that it is maintained.

"We would be delighted to see a scheme come forward that repairs the building and brings it into a beneficial, alternative use. We would urge the developer to give this serious consideration."

Image copyright Save Swindon's Heritage
Image caption The school was built in 1884 and has served many generations of the town's families

The school closed in 1987 and was used as offices and then by an electronics company until 2014.

Part of the building was torn down last February. The developers said it believed it had permission to do so, but had been mistaken.

A petition to save the school has attracted more than 1,100 signatures.

Sally Hawson, from Save Swindon's Heritage, said: "I am relieved that Swindon Borough Council have decided to refuse planning permission to demolish Clifton Street School and to build a new building in its place.

"I hope now a planning enforcement action will be issued requiring the developer to restore the parts he unlawfully demolished."

Planning consultants DPDS, which is acting on behalf of G&D Estates, has been contacted for comment.

Image caption Part of the building was demolished without permission last year

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