Abbotsford school plans ‘extraordinary’

Abbotsford School
Abbotsford School

Plans to convert the old Abbotsford School building on Bridge Street into two semi-detached houses have been described as “extraordinary” by the mayor of Kenilworth, Cllr Michael Coker.

Although the application was not objected to by Kenilworth Town Council members, many made comments of concern due to the lack of extra parking spaces that the new occupants of the houses would need.

The plan effectively complicates an already complicated development.

Cllr Michael Coker

Cllr Coker said: “I find this plan extraordinary.

“It would seem to me that whilst we have no objection to the building being split into two houses in principle, the whole development must be viewed together.

“It effectively complicates an already complicated development.”

Cllr Dave Shilton echoed Cllr Coker’s thoughts and said the application must be viewed as a whole.

Cllr Pat Cain described the parking at Abbotsford as “very limited”, but said the plans were faithful to the design of the original building.

She said: “They’ve done a lot of sympathetic things here - they tried to take into account all the existing features of the building which I’m very pleased about.”

Cllr Kate Dickson said that the problem of extra traffic should be taken into consideration.

The building, which has been empty for over five years after closing as a school, currently has five parking spaces and this number is not due to increase according to the application.

The Grade II*-listed building is the only one of its kind in Kenilworth, and plans to convert it in the past have fallen through.

In 2014 an application was submitted to try and convert it into a single dwelling with eight flats nearby on Bridge Street, but this faced repeated opposition until the plans were accepted in August of that year.

However, the plans were thrown out in September because the glazing bars on the windows were deemed to be too thick.