Bid to demolish former borough school for new flats set to be rejected

Plans to build 29 apartments at the old King Street School building, in Leigh, have been recommended for refusal ahead of a meeting of Wigan Council's planning committee

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 10:32 am

A bid to demolish an old school building to make way for a three-storey block of flats looks set to be turned down.

An application to build 29 apartments, at the former King Street School building in Leigh, will be considered by Wigan Council’s planning committee on today (April 20).

A report to the committee notes that four written objections were received, with concerns centring around demolishing the structure and a lack of parking.

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The former King Street school in Leigh

Objectors also state the late 19th century building should be retained and converted instead rather than demolished.

The report notes that if the whole building cannot be retained at least the front façade should be.

It recommends the application to be refused, stating: “The proposed replacement building is not of sufficient quality and there are not any public benefits to outweigh the harm arising from the proposed development.

“The proposed development requires contributions to be delivered towards off-site public open space and play facilities and affordable housing.

“The applicant has failed to provide or make a commitment to provide the required amount of affordable housing provision or financial contribution in lieu of on-site provision for affordable housing, public open space and play facilities.”

Of the 29 apartments proposed, 20 would be two-bedroom and nine one-bedroom. There are 13 parking spaces on the site, three of which include electric vehicle charging points.

There would also be a bin store in the car park, a cycle storage area within the building and a grassed area with trees planted.

Planning documents submitted on behalf of the applicant John Littler said the scheme would boost housing in the area. They noted that the current scheme of redevelopment has been drawn up in the light of guidance from the council.

They read: “It is clear that the proposed scheme of redevelopment has the potential to make a highly sustainable contribution to the housing stock within Leigh town centre.”

Built in 1896-1897, the building is made of large red-brick and was designed to be used as an elementary school, Sunday School and public hall. It

later became an infant and junior school.

The school survived until around the 1980s and the premises were subsequently occupied by Leigh College, before educational use ceased

around the turn of the 21st century.

The building has since been occupied by a nursery and most recently a fitness centre including a boxing gym called Fit 4 Life Health Centre,

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