Hodgkinson Builders Praised for Development of “Eyesore” Former Primary School
Police and community officials have welcomed a developer’s plans to build 20 new homes on the site of an “eyesore” former school.
Derby-based Hodgkinson Builders have started work to build the houses on the site of the former Florence County Primary School, in Dresden, Stoke-on-Trent.
The development will consist of 11 three-bed and nine two-bed homes in four blocks and is being delivered in conjunction with Staffordshire Housing Association, which will sell or rent out the properties.
Hodgkinson Builders are currently clearing the ground and it is hoped that the homes will be ready in late Autumn.
City of Stoke-on-Trent Council granted planning permission for the scheme, at the junction of St Clair Street and Lilleshall Street, in November.
The former school was vacated around 15 years ago and, having been blighted by unauthorised access and vandalism, was demolished over five years ago.
The site has since remained vacant and derelict.
According to a report to the city council, the site has been affected by anti-social behaviour, including fly-tipping, and “in its current state the site is a significant detractor to local residential amenity”.
Some of the former buildings still remained, and Hodgkinson Builders found school cellars, which the builders have since been filled in.
Also in the council report, a response to the application was given by Staffordshire Police.
A police spokesman said: “Stafford Police welcome the redevelopment of another derelict brownfield site which has become an eyesore and fly-tipping location.”
Marshall Fear, Head of Enterprise and Growth at Staffordshire Housing Association said: “we are very pleased to be working alongside the Hodgkinson Team to develop much needed affordable housing on the former Florence Primary school site which closed more than 15 years ago with the land becoming an eyesore since it was left abandoned in 2002. This scheme will help give the area a long awaited and much needed lift.
“Staffordshire Housing remain committed to delivering developments on the more difficult to deliver brownfield sites across North Staffordshire and South Cheshire.”
News of the development comes after a successful past year for Hodgkinson Builders, which announced last month that it was levelling the Poplar pub, in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, to make way for a proposed 19 houses and business centre.
Ian Hodgkinson, director at Hodgkinson Builders, said: “It will help to regenerate a run-down site and provide much-needed housing in the local area.
“This news marks what will be the start of a great year for Hodgkinson Builders , as we are set to build 120 new homes in 2019.”
Councillor Lilian Dodd, Lord Mayor of Stoke and councillor for the Dresden and Florence ward,
welcomed the news, having campaigned for 10 years to get the site cleared.
She said: “I’m absolutely over the moon that it’s actually happening, at long last.
“It’s been an environmental eyesore – a dumping ground of everything you could think of. It’s been absolutely disgusting.
“The workmen are in there now and over the past four weeks have cleaned out the land. It’s even better already, without any building work on it. It’s going to be absolutely marvellous, and there’s a desperate need for affordable housing in the area.
Resident, Freda Green (70), said: “the development is brilliant and it is not happening before time. Some days we would go out and come back to furniture dumped on the site!”
Freda’s husband, Uwe Green (76) added: “We are delighted that Lilian’s hard work has come to fruition.”