Plans unveiled for former Suffolk lower school

The former St Benedict's lower school site in St Andrew's Street South, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: GO

The former St Benedict's lower school site in St Andrew's Street South, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Google Maps

A former lower school near Bury St Edmunds which closed last year is to be demolished to make way for a handful of homes, it has emerged.

M&D Developments bought the former St Benedict's Lower School site in St Andrew's Street, Bury, in October, and has now lodged plans to knock down the old school for nine homes.

The school opted to close the lower school site and amalgamate teaching with its upper school provision in Beeton's Way.

The lower school site closed its doors at the end of the summer term last year.

In its application, submitted at the start of January, M&D said that "a small residential development" was considered to be the most appropriate use for the site.

It added: "The proposed development represents a most appropriate usage for this site in terms of history, location and access constraints.

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"The amount of proposed development is modest in scale offering a carefully arranged relationship with the existing site features and the historic host building.

"The proposals offer a sustainable development with low car usage requirements in a peripheral town centre location which enable significant historic character value to be retained in St Andrew's Street South."

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Those homes are understood to be two-storey three bedroom homes with associated parking.

A separate application is also being submitted to develop the remainder of the site as a car park.

Historically, the 3.7 acre site was a part of the original grounds to St Andrew's Castle built in 1820.

The house and grounds became a part of the Convent of Sister of St Louis in the 1930s, used as a day school until 1967 when St Benedict's opened as a Catholic upper school.

The former castle itself is now used as offices and is owned separately, with the M&D development only pertaining to the redundant school buildings.

The plans are currently in the consultation stage, and likely to go for a decision in the spring of this year.

The school held a celebratory picnic event and mass on June 29 last year to mark the school's history there.

New headteacher Imogen Senior took over the school's running at that time to oversee the transition, replacing Kate Pereira.

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