People of Marlborough ‘should have a say over future of St Peter’s School’

Written by Peter Davison on .

St Peter's SchoolSt Peter's SchoolThe people of Marlborough should have a say in the future development of the St Peter’s School building.

The 112-year-old Grade II listed building will probably be sold to developers when junior school pupils from the St Peter’s campus join infant school pupils at the new Marlborough St Mary’s primary school in September this year.

The new school is currently under construction on the six acre site – commonly known as Van Diemen’s land – behind the current St Mary’s Infants School.

At last Monday’s meeting of Marlborough Town Council’s planning committee, councillor Nick Fogg described the building as “much loved” and “part of the structure of Marlborough”.

He said the town council should “make a case” to Wiltshire Council that the town should be involved in discussions around the future of the building.

Committee chairman Mervyn Hall agreed, saying “otherwise it will be done behind our backs.”

The current St Peter's building was opened in 1905 as a new co-educational grammar school - using the same site as the previous boys' grammar school at the bottom of The Parade.

In 2015, Marlborough News Online submitted a Freedom of Information request to Department for Education and its capital projects arm the Education Funding Agency.

Heavily redacted papers showed that Wiltshire Council intended to sell the site to developers.

St Peter's School is “…in a prominent position in the town and would command a high market value for either residential or commercial development,” said the authority in its submission to the government.

The committee also agreed to request of Wiltshire Council that it be involved in the discussions around the Crown Estates land at Salisbury Road, which has already been granted outline planning permission for 175 new houses.