Wednesday, 16 May 2012

News - History buffs back plan for old school (Arnold )

HISTORY enthusiasts have welcomed a decision to keep a former school building in Arnold unchanged despite a proposed redevelopment.

The former Church Drive Primary School, in Church Lane, was due to be sold off by Notts County Council last spring.

At the time, members of the Arnold History Group raised fears the building could be knocked down or significantly changed by its buyer.

But the council drew up an agreement that said that any new buyer would have to keep the building unchanged for at least ten years.

Arnold developer Aldergate Properties, which bought the former school for £225,000 last November, now wants to turn it into a business and community enterprise centre.

Bob Massey, vice-chairman of the history group, said: "It is a great relief that the building should be retained, because it has a great historical interest.

"It is also useful that it will be used by the community."

He said the building was designed in the 19th century by architect William Herbert Higginbottom, who had a hand in community buildings across Nottingham.

"This is one of his few buildings that's left," Mr Massey added.

John Ward, one of the history group's founding members, said: "I am delighted the building will be kept the same for at least ten years.

"Everybody in the community will be, too."

The school closed in 2008, when pupils moved to the new Arnold Mill Primary.

Aldergate has asked Gedling Borough Council for permission to convert the building .

In a document outlining the plans, Aldergate said: "Meetings with local groups have been encouraging and there seems to be local support for the type of facilities we hope to provide at Church Drive."

The company declined to comment further.


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