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Rumours of flats plan for St Mary's School scotched by council
RUMOURS that developers are already lining up to turn Worcester's doomed all-girls school into luxury flats have been scotched.
Worcester City Council insists no approaches have been made from investors about the future of St Mary's, an independent school which shut yesterday after 80 years of history.
Your Worcester News has been contacted by people living near the school, which is in Battenhall, as well as parents who say "a large property developer" is believed to be eyeing it up for investment.
Some have suggested the plans are already well progressed.
One contacted us to say there are "rumours a large property developer wants to put luxury flats on the site" and that parents wanted to know if "there is outerlying planning permission" for anything.
Another parent, who did not wish to be named, said: "A few people have told me a deal is already done and the (city) council have had conversations about it being houses."
The city council's planning department has had no enquiries about the building, which is in Mount Battenhall.
A spokesman said: "We've had no approaches about the site or discussions about it with anyone."
The building has existing permission for 'education use', although that does not necessarily restrict any development.
But on top of that, it sits within the Battenhall Villas Conservation Area, a form of protection awarded by the city council because the buildings in the neighbourhood are deemed to have special architectural significance.
That means any third party eyeing it up would need to tread carefully, with demolition or wholesale changes to the site extremely unlikely.
The school announced in June that it would be shutting for good at the end of term yesterday, leaving 270 pupils scrabbling to find places elsewhere.
Andrew Cleary, chairman of the governors, said the economic downturn had made it "impossible" for the school to continue.
Trustees at the school have rejected a business plan to try and keep it open, saying it did not deal with the structural financial problems it had.
The school’s nursery The Stables was set to close in August but also closed with the school on Friday due to it going into administration.