Historic old school to become new homes

Neil Lowdon of Sankate Homes and Coun John Money, NKDC executive member for housing and property service, with floor plans of the development project for the old Quarrington School. EMN-180925-101944001
Neil Lowdon of Sankate Homes and Coun John Money, NKDC executive member for housing and property service, with floor plans of the development project for the old Quarrington School. EMN-180925-101944001

Work has begun on the conversion of an iconic 150-year-old former Sleaford school to become council homes after a 15-year wait.

North Kesteven District Council’s £1m-plus investment at the old Quarrington School on Grantham Road will deliver nine much-needed homes for social housing.

The interior of the old Quarrington School - ready for work to get started on it. EMN-180925-103105001

The interior of the old Quarrington School - ready for work to get started on it. EMN-180925-103105001

Originally built in 1867, the school closed in 2002 and has been vacant ever since, subject to vandalism and decay. Bought by Sankate Homes of Collingham, under a 2007 approval, nine housing association homes were built in the playground but the main building remained untouched and as the recession took hold and it became unviable to complete the rest of the site.

In 2012, the plan was amended to allow for three apartment conversions within the old school hall, two more in an annex and a sixth in the old headteacher’s house. This plan is now being fulfilled, with a further three new-build homes in the grounds thanks to the cash injection from NKDC, in partnership with Sankate Homes, using grant aid from Homes England.

Making best use of the space and celebrating the architecture of the Grade 2-listed building, three modern living spaces will be created, with an upstairs bedroom effectively hanging within the apex of the high roof.

Across the development there will be five two-bed homes, two with three bedrooms and two one-bed flats.

Director of Sankate Homes, Neil Lowdon said he was pleased to see the old building’s decline halted and it revived in line with his vision.

NKDC wants to build more than 100 homes in Sleaford within five years, with more across the district. Coun John Money, Executive Member for housing, said: “This really is a fantastic opportunity to deliver a scheme that offers so much potential benefit to the community; not only in the creation of new, much-needed affordable housing, but also the preservation of a building which has sadly become something of an eyesore.

“The old Quarrington School has played an important role in the life of Sleaford over many generations, and through our involvement in reinvigorating this scheme I am delighted to say that it will continue to contribute to lives locally for many decades to come.”