Old school could be Compulsory Purchased!

Finally B&NES are considering a Compulsory Purchase Order for the old and much-neglected King Edward’s School in Broad Street – empty now for nearly forty years.

Plans to bring redundant buildings in the heart of Bath’s Milsom Quarter back into use to help revitalise the area are to be discussed by the Council’s cabinet next Thursday, March 8th.

A report will put forward options for the listed King Edwards School building, which has lain empty for thirty-seven years. Cabinet will also consider introducing short-term lettings in the Old Post Office block, while a scheme to redevelop the building to house the Fashion Museum is progressed.

Councillor Richard Samuel, deputy leader and cabinet member for Resources said: “These are two landmark buildings that currently detract from the vitality of the city centre and bringing them back into use is crucial if we are to deliver on our vision of turning Milsom Quarter into the South West’s leading fashion destination.

“The King Edwards School building has been empty for almost four decades. Despite the owner twice receiving planning permission to convert it into a hotel and restaurant, it remains empty and is now at risk. We want to work with the owner to bring the building back into use, but if unsuccessful we may need to consider a Compulsory Purchase Order.

“Introducing short-term lets in the Old Post Office Building, while we draw-up plans for the Fashion Museum, makes economic sense. It will increase footfall in New Bond Street and create income to support the Fashion Museum redevelopment.”

The report sets out the councils objectives for the King Edwards School Building: helping to speed-up the delivery of a suitable scheme to bring the building back into use, safeguarding it’s listed building status and ensuring it makes a positive contribution to the broader regeneration of Milsom Quarter and Bath city centre while avoiding excessive cost and risk to the council.

Cabinet will also consider introducing short-term-only lets within the Old Post Office Building ahead of its renovation which is expected to begin within the next 3-4 years. The aim is to secure tenants who will contribute to the regeneration objectives for the Milsom Quarter.