More rejection for old school building plans

Planning apps
Planning apps

Contentious plans for Abbotsford House have been rejected once again after residents and councillors spoke out to stop the ‘unwanted’ development.

Warwick District Council’s planning committee was set to finally approve the latest plans for Kenilworth’s only Grade II* listed building on Tuesday, but after appeals from town councillors and the Civic Society, the application was defeated with a deciding vote from chairman Cllr Alan Rhead.

The latest plans included for developers to demolish some of the buildings and convert the main school building in Bride Street into a house.

They also applied to turn the existing two-storey classroom block into five homes with access to the main road.

The applications have been altered, withdrawn and resubmitted with changes in hope of finding an acceptable scheme over the past two years.

And WDC planning officers recommended the move finally go ahead to prevent the buildings standing empty for any more time.

But Kenilworth Town Council felt that “no acceptable scheme” had been found.

Councillors said there were “a lot of concerns” including the size of the proposed main house which would be hard to sell on as a single dwelling, given the proximity of other homes and traffic congestion.

Cllr George Illingworth, who spoke on behalf of the town council at the planning meeting, said they did not want to have another empty building in Kenilworth, but that there needed to be more thought for the design of the proposed build.

The Civic Society also protested against the current application in hope of protecting the town’s only Grade II* listed building from unsuitable development.

Joanna Illingworth, who spoke for the society and said they were “very pleased” at the decision, despite being worried for what will become of the building now the application has been turned down.

Applicants may now appeal the committee’s decision, or submit a new development plan for the building.