Former Bassetlaw school hit by vandalism and arson attacks could become housing for over-55s

A former junior school on the Bassetlaw border plagued by “repeated vandalism” could be part-demolished and turned into an over-55s complex.

By Andrew Topping
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 9:17 am

Bassetlaw District Council’s planning committee will decide next week whether to give the plans the go-ahead at the former North Border Junior School, in Snipe Park Road, Bircotes.

The former school currently sits derelict, with planning documents confirming it has been vandalised and the target of repeated arson attacks.

This has resulted in the collapse of substantial parts of the existing buildings, with some elements “beyond repair”.

Bassetlaw District Council’s planning committee are to decide whether the former North Border Junior School in Bircotes will become housing for people aged over-55s.

Some parts of the building – particularly its east and south sides – are in a “poor condition”, but planning officers believe they may be “salvageable”.

But now the building could be given a new lease of life with the over-55s accommodation recommended for approval on June 1.

The new homes, proposed by Harwood Town Council, include four one-bedroom flats and 15 two-bedroom flats, plus an additional nine two-bedroom bungalows.

All properties and flats would be marketed as ‘affordable’.

Documents confirm sections of two buildings on the former school are subject to an Article 4 direction.

This prevents the demolition of the two main buildings, together with boundary railings and gates. However, it does not affect smaller buildings on the land.

If approved next week, the application would see the demolition of fire-damaged and vandalised elements of the buildings, with the remaining structure to be retained and used for the new properties.

Additional new buildings would be created to the rear of the building to make up the remainder of the planned homes.

Bassetlaw District Council’s planning department has confirmed nine letters of support have been received following a public notice for the plans.

These comments welcome the plans due to an improvement on “what is currently an eyesore” being brought back into use, removing “anti-social behaviour and vandalism” blighting the site in recent years.

Developer contributions will be sought for the application, with £3,000 to go towards bus stop infrastructure and £102,960 for additional primary school plans in Harworth.

Further, unspecified section 106 developer contributions would be sought for open space management and for sustainable drainage systems.

When assessing the development, Bassetlaw District Council’s planning department said: “The scheme has the benefit of providing affordable housing, retaining the remnants of the historic fabric of the former school and will improve the visual and residential amenity of the area.”

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