Office plan for eyesore former grammar school

Former grammar school in Belper.
Former grammar school in Belper.

THE CRUMBLING former grammar school in Belper could be turned into offices.

A planning application has been submitted to Amber Valley Borough Council for the now eyesore building on Chapel Street.

The applicant is Chevin Pension Scheme, of East Mill, Belper.

It has applied for a change of use to office space, as well as lowering the ground at the front of the building to form a new car park. An external access staircase and terrace would also be built.

Borough council planning officer Andrew Watson said the building had previously been granted planning permission for a change of use to a mixed use scheme, but this was never acted upon.

Speaking about the current planning application, he said: “In principle, I have no problem with the use.”

But he added that the work must be right for the building and the surrounding area.

Parts of the building have fallen away. A large tarpaulin sheet put in place to make the building look more pleasant had been ripped away by the recent high winds.

Last August, The News ran a story on the building, with one resident describing it as a “horror story”.

Tony Howard-Jones, who has lived next to the building for eight years, described it as a “big white elephant sitting there”.

A decision on the planning application is due on Thursday, March 1.