Former Boston Spa school to be demolished

Boston Spa High Street. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Boston Spa High Street. Picture: Tony Johnson.

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A former Roman Catholic children’s home, and later school, in Boston Spa is due to be knocked down and replaced by 13 houses.

Planning permission has been granted to the trustees of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds who own the land and property on Church Street, to build on the site which was home to St Vincent’s Children’s Home, which later became the Brownberrie School.

Opened in 1880, St Vincent’s closed in 1942 and was replaced by St Mary’s Children’s Home which ran until 2006. Since that time the Brownberrie School took over the running of the site and were three-year tenants.

The school moved out of the property during the summer holidays this year, however planning applications for the site go back some way.

Planning permission for the development was originally granted in 2008 and this was extended in 2011. However, it was then necessary to submit another full application for the same development.

Boston Spa parish council chair Robert Wivell explained: “It belongs to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds and it was run as a Brownberrie School on a temporary basis and they have moved further north to a permanent site where they are amalgamating this school and one further north.

“They were only three-year tenants and it has always been part of the property of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds.

“The school moved out in the summer holidays this year. In the earliest stage they didn’t form any plans but it was all done quite quickly.

“The development is something that has been on the cards for a good number of years - there was an application five or six years ago.

“Our usual concerns are about decent access.”

In a letter to Leeds City Council, the parish council said they would like to see provision of public access to the Stables Lane playing fields and former nursery land adjacent to the site.

A large, two-and-a-half storey red brick Edwardian building, the main portion of the home was substantially extended for institutional use in the 1950s and the 1960s and is confined within extensive private grounds.

The housing scheme set to replace the building includes nine town houses and four detached dwellings with garaging and landscaping.

The trustees of the diocese now have three years to begin, after submitting building materials for approval.

The diocese and its agents were approached for a statement but said that, because of their charity status, they were not able to comment.