Former National Trust property to be converted into home

A former village school, which was previously owned by the National Trust, is to be converted into a home after falling into disrepair.

Stainsby Centre and Baden Powell Scouts Centre, in Hawking Lane, Stainsby, near Hardwick Hall, was sold at auction by the conservation charity last year, having been unoccupied for some time.

The property dates back to the late 19th Century when it was used as a school house for Stainsby and is built upon the remains of a medieval settlement.

In recent years, it has been used as a Scout hut and storage for Stainsby Festival.

Stainsby School, on the Hardwick estate, was auctioned off by the National Trust last November.

The new owners applied to Bolsover Council for permission for change of use to a single dwelling house with associated domestic curtilage.

Discussing the application in a planning committee meeting on Wednesday (June 8), planning manager Sarah Kay said members needed to take into account the loss of a community facility when considering it.

She pointed out the building was in need of repair and on balance the application would ‘ensure the building’s preservation in the setting of the conservation area’.

Coun Duncan McGregor said he remembered visiting the building when he was head Scout officer.

He said: “It’s unfortunate that circumstances have now arrived that’s caused this situation.”

Coun McGregor said thought ‘common sense needed to be attributed’ in relation to the preservation of the building.

Coun Tom Munro, committee chairman, said access to the property was via a single track road with no parking, making future community use difficult to sustain.

The application was approved unanimously.

The sale of the property sparked controversy, with the National Trust tightlipped about its future, but saying proceeds from the sale would help maintain nearby Hardwick Hall.

The Victorian building had been earmarked as the ‘last possible site’ for a community hub serving the rural area – and the sale came under fire from parish councillors and trustees of the Stainsby Festival.

Coun Tony Trafford, festival chairman and a member of Ault Hucknall Parish Council, said at the time he was ‘furious’ about it.

He said: “The parish council was promised a long time ago by the National Trust that it would work in partnership to establish a community hub for the hamlets.

“The trust has done nothing for nine years, during which the building has deteriorated.”

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