Historic school in homes plan

Worden Old School plans Fox Lane, Leyland
Worden Old School plans Fox Lane, Leyland
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plans for four new homes in Leyland’s only conservation area look set to be approved - after a four year battle.

Developers hoping to build four terraced houses on the former Worden Old School site on Fox Lane have been trying to get planning permission for years.

Now, an application which incorporates all that remains of the school - half of the front wall - looks set to be approved by South Ribble Council.

Two previous applications to transform the former school were thrown out because the wall, which dates back to the 1800s, would have to be demolished.

Last year a further plan to build four homes on the land was submitted, which would retain the historic wall.

That was also refused by planners at South Ribble Council, because of the effect the development would have on the conservation area.

The applicants, the Trustees of the Worden Estate, say they hope the new plans will finally be passed.

Richard Bramley, of agents Bramley Pate and Partners, agents for the scheme, said: “It is good news (the application) has been recommended for approval. Whether it will get approval is a different matter.

“Something has to be done with the site. It’s a conservation area, and we’re not trying for a block of flats there.

“If we don’t do something with it, the wall will fall down.

“It’s a scruffy, untidy bit of land that’s not doing anything for the conservation area as it stands.”

“Quite a lot of people think this is a reasonable thing to do.”

The original building was built in 1842 and was used as a parish hall until 1870, when it became a school

The wall is all that remains of the building which fell into decay and was demolished.

Jay Nicholas, of the Fox Lane Community Group, said residents had concerns about the plans.

She said: “There are two main issues here. The conservation aspect and the parking aspect.

“This plan will mean we lose three on-street car parking spaces that are at a premium anyway. It will be gridlocked.

“I have lived on Fox Lane for 17 years and it (the wall) has never been looked after. We can’t lose this piece of history.”

Coun Tony Kelly, who represents the Lowerhouse ward at South Ribble Council, said: “(Fellow councillor) Fred Heyworth and I are having discussions with the residents at the moment.

“Their views are mainly against.

“It’s almost an ancient monument that wall. The parking and access issues are a problem.”

As part of the plans there will be a communal parking area for six cars on the site, as well as three on-road parking spaces.

County Highways haven’t raised any objections to the proposals.

The application is recommended for approval when it goes before the council’s planning committee tonight (Wednesday).