Wiltshire

Swindon Clifton Street School demolition appeal rejected

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

The government's planning inspectorate has blocked a proposal to partially demolish a Victorian school following an appeal.

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 said it was an error and filed a retrospective application which was refused.

It appealed the decision, but that has also been rejected by the government.

The developer, which wants to build 10 flats on the site, could be forced to restore the part of the building it damaged.

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said enforcement action was still being pursued through the courts.

"We welcome the decision by the planning inspector to support the council's policies on heritage, and to support the planning committee's ruling that the old school building should not be demolished," he said.

"Councillors, and the council, do not wish to see this heritage asset lost, and it is now for the developer to submit a more sympathetic design for this site which fully incorporates the Clifton Street School."

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.

When part of the building was torn down in February last year, 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.

Organiser Ben Blakey said: "It is fantastic news that the appeal has been rejected."

He said preserving the site "for future generations is paramount".

Sally Hawson, from Save Swindon's Heritage, said: "I just hope that the building hasn't gone too far. It's been open to the elements for a long time."

Planning consultants DPDS, which is acting on behalf of G&D Estates, declined to comment.

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

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