Around 150 local residents attended the public exhibition held at the Duke’s School in Alnwick on Thursday 9 August to launch new plans for the proposed development of the site.
Recent reorganisation of the Alnwick schools and construction of the new Duchess’s Community High School in Alnwick has made Duke’s School surplus to requirements and it has been unoccupied now since July 2017.
The scheme being proposed by site owners Northumberland Estates would see the conversion of the existing Duke’s School main building into residential apartments and alongside it creation of specialist elderly accommodation and bungalows set within the existing school grounds.
Says Guy Munden, Development Planner with Northumberland Estates, "The general feeling was one of overwhelming support for the conversion and refurbishment, particularly after people saw the state that the building is currently in and the potential to bring this iconic historic building back into functioning use. Also well received were plans for opening up the site for public use as open green space, formalising footpath links into the town and securing recreational use for the long-term.
"Support was also strong for the proposed elderly living accommodation and bungalows, with locals recognising the need for this type of accommodation in Alnwick, particularly in such a well-located position with easy town centre access.
The suggested proposals have been developed through detailed discussions with Northumberland County Council, with particular focus on ensuring that the heritage value of Duke’s School is preserved and enhanced.
A full planning application will be submitted this autumn, but in the meantime Northumberland Estates would welcome constructive feedback from local residents. Those interested in the scheme can find further information shown at the public exhibition below.