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Appeal rejected but demolition still an option for historic Croxley Green school
PLANS to replace a historic 19th-century school in the heart of Croxley Green with a block of flats have been rejected at appeal.
Charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, which owns the former Yorke Road School, last year announced proposals to demolish the Victorian building and erect five homes in its place.
But the scheme was unanimously rejected by Three Rivers District Council in January, which said 'the loss of a locally important building would adversely affect the character and appearance of the street scene'.
The decision was supported by more than 350 residents who signed a petition against the development.
The charity argued it urgently needs to realise the maximum value of the former school, one of the last remaining buildings of the Dickinson Mill era, to invest in life-saving research for blood cancer patients.
But the appeal found that the charity's need to raise funds, and the contribution it would make towards the supply of housing, were outstripped by the harm that would be caused by the loss of the building.
Chairman of the Croxley Green Residents Association, Barry Grant, said: "This is very good news and a victory for all who campaigned against the development - but the war is not over and we will have to wait and see what happens to the site next."
The decision does not protect the building - which was denied listed status from English Heritage, to the disappointment of local campaigners - from demolition.
The charity's planning agent, Vincent and Gorbing, said in a statement prior to the appeal: "The conversion of the property is not viable and the loss of income to the charity will be significant if planning permission is not granted, thereby affecting their charity work.
"The building could be demolished without planning consent in any event, an outcome which is highly likely.
"Dismissal of the appeal will merely reduce the capital achieved by the charity."
What do you think? Email Gazette reporter Siba Matti at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment below.
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