Apartments are planned for site of former school

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A FORMER school in St Helier could be turned into four apartments if plans are approved.

The site, 33 Stopford Road, which is situated opposite the Masonic Temple, was home to St Christopher’s School from 1971 until 2006, when it moved out of the Grade 3 listed building to a property on Rue de la Chapelle in St Clement.

Although the building was briefly used as an after-school facility, it is understood to have been largely vacant for around ten years.

In a planning application, David Harper, the owner of the Stopford Road property, has applied to convert the school into four apartments with parking.

He also wishes to demolish an extension which, the architects claim, has ‘serious structural issues’, having reportedly moved by 20cm (7.8in) in some places. A garage and a conservatory could also be razed under the plans.

A letter accompanying the application, written by Origin Architecture Studio, who have been commissioned to design the scheme, states: ‘The simple and modest modifications are considered to be in balance to that of the existing building and are considered to have little impact to the heritage aspect of the building but serve to safeguard that heritage asset for the future.’

It adds: ‘The reuse of an existing building is considered to accord with the intentions of [planning] policy SP2 (efficient use of resources) – the fact that very little demolition is required and limited construction is proposed maximises the efficiency of materials used and limits the impact to reclamation (building rubble being sent to La Collette).’

The letter goes on to say that there are currently a number of boarded-up fireplaces in the building and, after these have been opened up, a decision can be made about whether they will be retained as features.

According to materials contained within the Jersey Archive, 33 Stopford Road was also once home to the Jersey High School, which moved into the site in 1934.

Sarre and Co, commercial property agents, advertised the property for sale earlier this year and said they were accepting offers in excess of £1.1 million.

The government’s listed-property register describes the former school as a ‘good example of mid-19th century house with many original features.’

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