Controversial plans to demolish and rebuild part of a historic Victorian Bolton schoolhouse, with changes to a nearby road, will be decided on this week.

The proposal will see part of the Old School House, a Grade II listed building, on Colliers Row Road taken down and rebuild in into a new extension, along with a turning area for cars.

This has been recommended for refusal because of the effect it would have on a historic building and on greenbelt land but Cllr Roger Hayes argues this could help make Colliers Road safer, while making changes to historic buildings is a necessary compromise.

Cllr Hayes, who represents the area on Bolton Council, said: “We’ve got to find a compromise between being absolutely strict and not allowing any changes to our historic buildings but then allowing them to become old and possibly falling into disrepair and becoming unusable.”

He added: “It’s an interesting old building as I’m sure schools built back in the nineteenth century probably were!”

The Bolton News:

The plans have been put before Bolton Council 

The proposal will see a single story flat roofed extension built on the back of the building with will involve the demolition of a stone outbuilding building in the garden area and a later flat roofed red brick rear extension built as well.

Significantly for road users the plan also proposes a new access and turning area on land to the east of the house.

Cllr Hayes said: “If anything this will make Colliers Road safer from a road safety point of view.”

The schoolhouse was first built in 1841 with further extensions added in 1885 and 1898.

Since then it has been converted into a family home but has retained its original Victorian character, which council officials fear could be lost if the proposed changes go ahead.

But Cllr Hayes says that he is worried that if rules around changes to the building, currently a family home, are too strict then eventually it will become unoccupied.

He also says that no objections have been made by people living nearby.

The council will decide on the plans at a planning meeting today.