Objections over Abbotsford site

Planners have called for help to strike the right balance between protecting the historic Abbotsford School and creating ‘another Wantage’.

An application has been lodged to turn the former school site into a house, and create eight flats on nearby school land in Bridge Street.

But as one of the town’s very few Grade II* listed buildings, there are fears over how the move could affect the site and its heritage.

Discussing the application at length at their last meeting, town councillors agreed to call in an officer from Warwick District Council to go into more detail before a decision can be made.

Members raised concerns not only for the merit of the site’s history, but the suitability of the land so close to the High Street junction.

There were also questions raised about the close proximity of the proposed house to the flats, and how the build would be managed.

Cllr George Illingworth, head of planning on the town council, said the building’s importance must not be taken lightly.

“We have very few buildings of this importance in Kenilworth and we must not forget that,” he said.

“This building is redundant as a school and we would like to see it put back to use.

“But although we do not want this to be another Wantage situation, that use has raised concerns and we would like to know more about the application.”

Members will hear more at their next meeting in February before submitting their views to the district council for consideration.