Monday, April 26, 2021

News: Demolition timetabled at Rotherham grammar school


A decade after plans were discussed to revamp education facilities in Maltby, the former grammar school buildings looked to have failed recent examinations.

Maltby Academy became operational in September 2009, the first in the Rotherham borough, and the academy trust had big plans to upgrade the facilities on Rotherham Road / Braithwell Road.

A change in Government funding put redevelopment plans in jeopardy but a £10.9m contract was awarded to BAM Construction in 2012 who transformed the existing site to provide over 100,000 sq ft of modern teaching facilities in both new and refurbished buildings.

Whilst some buildings were demolished, the iconic clock tower remained and is now derelict.

A planning application has now been submitted by Maltby Learning Trust "to determine whether prior approval is required of the method of demolition and restoration of the site." The site being Maltby Old Grammar School.

Planning permission to demolish buildings is not required per se, but councils often need the opportunity to regulate the details of demolition in order to minimise the impact of that activity on local amenity.

2012 plans assessed the block, which dates from 1932 but is not a listed building, and earmarked it for demolition given the implications of updating its "inefficient plan form" and replacing its roof and windows.

At the time, the plans said that "the decision to accept an option that involved the removal of the old Grammar School building (Block B2) has not been taken lightly" and the prominence of the building and clock tower was recognised.

Local opposition for the demolition of the clock tower frontage was strong with Maltby Local History Society calling the decision "deplorable."

The academy and local community worked on a joint venture to secure funding to develop proposals to retain the clock tower. The local town council were even offered to take up the building but £350,000 costs were quoted.

Updated plans in 2013 involved demolishing further wings of the old school whilst retaining the southern two storey wing which fronts onto Rotherham Road and contains the clock tower.

Those plans said: "It is recognised that this appears to be a change of heart on the part of the Academy, however the Academy has always been aware of desire amongst the local community to retain the frontage to the old Grammar school building and clock tower, but this was just not practical within the constraints of the current project and the need to meet DDA requirements."

The redevelopment went ahead and the new Business and Enterprise centre opened in 2013. The historic frontage and clock tower has remained intact but derelict.

It has been the target of many "urban explorers" including the Yorkshire Explorers who posted the above picture to its Facebook page.

Images: Yorkshire Explorers


Tom Austen May 5, 2021 at 11:21 AM  

From the application:

"When the academy buildings were further developed and refurbished as part of the capital investment in 2012, the old grammar school building was not included in the scope of works. Since this time there has been a question mark hanging over this building
and it has not been in use and “mothballed” until a longer-term solution was agreed. There was always a possibility that part of the building might be retained as part of any expansion plans for the school (Finance permitting)

"The Grammar School is now in an “abandoned” state due to anti-social behaviour, trespass and illegal break ins causing damage to the building internally and externally. The building has been recorded by organised groups trespassing and forcing entry which
has been shared on media platforms. The Trust’s Site Team are continuously securing and making safe the building which is getting more and more difficult. The Trust are doing all it can to ensure a serious accident does not occur.

"The damage to the building internally and externally is extensive and dangerous."

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