Regeneration of iconic Telford building moves forward as plans are lodged

Major plans to protect and transform an iconic building in Telford have reached a "key milestone", council bosses have said.

An artist's impression of the plans for the Gower building
An artist's impression of the plans for the Gower building

Nuplace, Telford & Wrekin Council’s housing company, has lodged a planning application to bring forward the plans for the Gower building in St Georges.

The scheme will protect the existing building, provide a new parish office and community space, enhanced play facilities and a number of new quality homes.

It will also allow St Georges C of E Primary School to significantly enhance the educational facilities available to pupils, with more flexibility around their accommodation.

Telford & Wrekin Council and Nuplace are working with St Georges & Priorslee Parish Council on the plans.

As a part of the scheme it is proposed that a nearby existing site – the former Women’s Institute building, off Albion Street in St Georges, which is currently unoccupied – will be demolished to allow for a new play park, making use of both existing and new play equipment.

A further planning application will be submitted in line with the Gower regeneration scheme.

The Gower

Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council's cabinet member for neighbourhood, commercial services and regeneration, said: “This is a key milestone for Nuplace and the council towards being able to implement our plans which will see the building protected for many years to come.

“We fully recognise that The Gower is an extremely iconic asset in the local community and it is our priority to ensure that a scheme is delivered which not only protects the future of the historic building but also finds an appropriate use for it.”

The latest plans, including a proposed site map and illustrations, can be found online at nuplace.co.uk/thegower and have been developed in consultation with Telford & Wrekin Council’s planning team as well as representatives from St Georges and Priorslee Parish Council.

A decision on the planning application is expected in autumn 2021.

Built in 1873, the grade II listed Gower School House, on Gower Street, originally served as a cottage hospital before being converted into a school.

It closed in 1960.

Council chiefs said there had been a number of failed attempts by community groups to bring forward a financially viable scheme for the site but unfortunately it had only led to the site being "sterilised".

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