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Cladding causes concern

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A group that works to safeguard the town’s heritage says it supports plans for a new £21/2m sheltered housing complex on the site of the former Mount Church of England School, Newark — but will submit a formal objection.

The chairman of Newark Civic Trust planning committee, Mr Bill Davidson, said they would have to object to the application by St Leonard’s Trust because there was too much cedar wood boarding on the building.

The trust wants to provide homes for up to 35 elderly people in a project that would involve the restoration of the now derelict boys’ school building, which dates from 1826 and is listed for protection.

Mr Davidson said they would like to see the boarding finish at the same level as the first-storey windows rather than it ending at the top of the ground floor windows as proposed in the plans.

“Overall we are very supportive,” he said.

“We like the fact that it’s close to the town centre.

“We like the way that the building has been laid out, especially the fact that the accommodation is quite roomy compared with private flats of a similar size.

“But because we don’t like the timber cladding we will have to object.”

Mr Davidson said members, who met on Monday to discuss the plans, were impressed with the overall quality of the design.

“The views from the other buildings will not be spoilt by the new development,” he said.

“We are also supportive of the environmental aspects of the scheme. We think the grass roof is a nice touch.”

Other sustainable technologies include air-source heat pumps.

As part of the plans, the white rendered building (the old hall) would be converted into a warden’s home.

The red brick buildings, built in the 1930s, which include the old gym hall, would be knocked down and replaced with the new parts of the development.

Since pupils moved to the new Mount school building next to the old school four years ago the old buildings have been repeatedly vandalised.

Newark Town Council has supported the application. It will now go to Newark and Sherwood District Council planning committee.

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