Building could be turned into accommodation

David Bentham outside Jesmond Road School
David Bentham outside Jesmond Road School

A PROSPECTIVE buyer for the school building site is in talks with Hartlepool Borough Council.

 The company, which has not been named, has discussed its development plans which include the listed building and grounds being converted into accommodation.

But the plans for Jesmond Road Primary School, which was listed earlier this year after a one-man crusade, have not been released at this stage.

Hartlepool man David Bentham, 47, took it upon himself to safeguard the building when it was put on the market last year as part of a multi-million pound education revamp.

He decided to try to get it listed so it would be harder for any potential demolition plans – to make way for a more modern structure – to be approved.

His efforts paid off after Government body English Heritage categorised the school building, as well as the master’s house, play shed and surrounding wall, as a Grade II listed building.

The building was listed because its architectural quality was a good example of a late boarding school built in a “lively and well detailed Queen Anne style”.

Listed buildings can still be altered, extended and sometimes even demolished within Government planning guidance.

The value of the potential sale has also not been released for confidentiality reasons.

A council spokesman said: “A buyer for Jesmond Road School has been identified and we are now in discussions with the company with a view to the building and grounds being converted into a residential development.”