PLANS to transform an historic school in Parkgate into dozens of homes have been given the green light.
Councillors voted unanimously on Thursday for the former Mostyn House School to be renovated and turned into 38 apartments and six houses, and for an ‘enabling’ development to take place for three townhouses on the site of the covered playground and 39 new homes on the playing field.
Members of the Strategic Planning Committee were told that officers believed that the saving of the black and white building on The Parade outweighed the loss of the playing field. The work will be carried out by PJ Livesey Heritage Homes North West.
Parkgate councillor Brenda Dowding, expressing the views of local people, said some of those living in the area were against the scheme.
She said: “The report points to the benefits in terms of restoring a listed building.
“However it is crucial to recognise the limited extent of those benefits: the building’s interior will be changed forever; some buildings will be demolished; the chapel will still have no practical use; the black and white façade – certainly iconic when people think of Parkgate – will be just that – a façade.”
Councillor Dowding explained that many residents believed that the scheme damaged the setting of a heritage asset, damaged the immediate locality of homes of Grenfell Park, Grenfell Court and Grenfell Close by its discordant design and by creating highways and access issues, and thirdly damaged the local conservation area of Parkgate.
But councillor Mark Williams pointed to the repair work to be carried out which will be financed by an ‘enabling’ development, where the homes built on the playground and playing field, will finance the renovation and building of flats in the school building.
Councillor Angela Claydon, referring to the officer’s report, added: “This is very much an on balance report and certainly when I first read it I thought ‘oh no I’m not happy with the idea of houses at the back’, but then having gone through it very carefully and being on site today, I think that it’s the way to save the building.
“I accept it grudgingly because I don’t want to see the loss of the playing fields, but I do think it’s the best way forward for Parkgate.”