St Peter’s faces conversion into houses

HOME SCHOOL: The former St Peter’s building

THE former building of St Peter’s Church of England Primary School, in the centre of Tunbridge Wells,
could be converted into homes, if an application to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is approved.

A planning application, submitted by Mason Carey Ltd, has been lodged to convert the old St Peter’s Primary School, in Windmill Street, into two homes.

The school, which had an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating, was split across three sites, and was the second most oversubscribed school in the area.

As part of a deal to build the Berkeley Homes Estate at Hawkenbury Farm, the school was relocated a mile away to Hawkenbury Road, Hawkenbury, and the original building was closed in February 2021. The scheduled opening date in 2019 was bogged down by delays,

In an advert originally posted by Savills for the sale of the Windmill Road property, it was described as: “Residential development/conversion potential with a gross internal area of approximately 7,22sq ft”, continuing: “There is residential development/conversion subject to the requisite consents.”

In the new planning application, Mason Carey also stated: “The proposed scheme does alter the aesthetic of the street scene to Windmill Street in a limited manner by way of creating residential entrances as opposed to commercial entrances. It is expected that the alteration is beneficial to the street scene.

“It is proposed to retain the feature elements of the vertical elevations and the roof of the building, which includes arched windows and slated roof covering.”

In addition, the application stated that the painted parking zone for the school in Windmill Street could be removed and parking bays created, which would give four spaces to the ‘local community’, as the new homes were “likely to require only two spaces”.

This is not the first proposed development for the former school. Permission to demolish the existing boundary wall and playground, and to erect nine flats, and the associated alterations, car parking, refuse and cycle storage was approved by the Council on June 16, 2022.

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