The Friends School has roots going back to 1702, however it became central to Saffron Walden in 1870s when George Stacey Gibson gifted the land so that the school could move from Croydon to the town. Since then for 140 years it has been an important part of the community, not only educating local people but providing access to vital sports and arts facilities inside the town.
Chase New Homes purchased the site after the school closed in 2017. The developer has now submitted their planning proposals for 100 homes on part of the site to Uttlesford District Council. These are split into several planning applications. Full planning consent is being requested for the first 30 homes at the front of the site with a single playing field and refurbished swimming pool block. They are also seeking outline planning approval for a further 70 market-priced houses at the back of the site. Chase has indicated that at this point they are unable to convert the old school building into flats as the roof refurbishment will cost £2m. They have also not released any details about what they intend to do with the new primary school that was built on the Debden Rd side of the site a few years before the school closed. Their proposals (UTT/19/1744/OP) are open for public consultation and feedback by UDC until 4th September 2019 – see the link below.
Residents can view the planning application and make a comment on the UDC website on the UTT/19/1744/OP planning application page. They can also email UDC at email@example.com with their comments.
It is proposed that the majority of the affordable homes would be in a new block of flats at the front of the site.
Chase New Homes are proposing 30 affordable homes at the front of the development near a sports pitch and refurbished swimming pool, and 70 market homes at the rear of the site all with a single access on to Mount Pleasant Road.