Contractor pulls out of old school refurbishment

The application to refurbish a Victorian former school building and add housing on its grounds is still on track, despite a key contractor pulling out of the project.

'The Gower' in St Georges operated as a school for 80 years
'The Gower' in St Georges operated as a school for 80 years

The grade II listed Gower School House, in St Georges, was built in 1873 and originally served as a cottage hospital before converting into a school. It closed in 1960.

Nuplace, Telford & Wrekin Council’s wholly-owned housing provider, has applied to refurbish the building to add three flats and community facilities in the building and place 10 two-bedroom houses and four one-bedroom apartments behind it.

It appointed Novus Property Solutions, who had already designed and submitted the planning application but subsequently withdrew from later stages of the project as part of a company-wide “streamlining”. A company spokesperson said professionals it appointed would continue to work on the Gower Street site, and the council added that the change hasn’t affected the timescales.

A company spokesperson said professionals it appointed would continue to work on the Gower Street site, and the council added that the change hasn’t affected the timescales.

The application is due to go before the borough’s Planning Committee on Wednesday, October 20.

Novus Head of Marketing Áine Girn said: “Novus is no longer involved in the Gower refurbishment although the professional team, including appointed architects Wood Goldstraw Yorath, are continuing.

“Novus was selected to appoint a design team and undertake preconstruction services including design and submission of a planning application, which, at the point of withdrawal, had been completed.

“Once planning consent had been obtained and a contract sum agreed for the works, Novus was then to be appointed to undertake the works as contractor.

“This stage had not yet been reached when the decision was taken to withdrawn from the project.”

She added that the company had “streamlined its offering” and a review of projects found the Gower did not fit into any of the categories of project it wished to pursue.

“In this isolated case, the decision was taken to move away from a small number of projects that did not sit within this framework, with The Gower being one such project,” she said.

“The decision is for no other reason than not being aligned with Novus’s long-term business strategy.”

A spokesperson for Telford and Wrekin Council said: “An alternative contractor is in the process of being appointed and they will be taking forward the current design through detailed design and into construction, subject to planning consent and agreement on a contract sum, using the same approach intended with Novus.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News