Plans have been submitted on behalf of the parish to change the use of the Grade 4 listed building on Rue de la Croix au Maître from a school and nursery into a medical, welfare and retail site.
The parish bought the site in the 19th century and building work began on a school in late 1899. However, in 2015, the school moved into a new £7.5 million facility on an adjacent site after the facility became rundown and no longer suitable.
Under the plans, the original school building will be retained and refurbished while modern additions such as the nursery would be removed. It is proposed that the refurbished building will be subdivided internally to create space for a food store, doctor’s with ancillary pharmacy as well as a mobility/medical retail showroom.
It is also proposed that ‘two medical/welfare units’ would be based in the building.
The planning application comes after a consultation which was held early last year, asked parishioners what use or uses they would like to see the building put to. The results in order of popularity were: a pharmacy, a doctor’s surgery, a dental surgery, a private sector nursery, an after-school club, a crèche/child care facility, a vets’ surgery and a mini supermarket.
A design statement submitted as part of the planning application by Morris Architects says: ‘The proposal is to create a new use for the existing old school building at St Martin. The proposal has been through parish consultation which has derived a brief from which the parish client supervisory team has instructed the design team.
‘The brief is to set out a plan of action, setting a vision and scope to utilise this unique site to its full potential and to offer a solution that benefits the wider community.
‘Client requirements are to provide affordability, community value, proportionate to the scale of the existing parish operation without creating unreasonable burden on the parish.’
No alterations are proposed to the listed Maison Scolaithe, the former headmaster’s house, which will continue to be occupied by tenants and managed by the parish.
A planning statement submitted as part of the application states that the proposals will provide ‘an important local community hub’ and that as the facilities will be used predominately by residents of the parish it will reduce ‘the need to drive outside the village for retail and health facilities’.