Knocking down old school will ‘destroy history’

DEMOLISHING Hull’s oldest school to make way for car parking would “destroy part of the city’s history” objectors have warned.

More than 100 people have written to object to Hull Trinity House Charity’s plans to knock down Trinity House School, where generations of boys trained for a nautical career.

The school moved last year from its waterfront site opposite Princes Quay to the University of Lincoln building in George Street to allow it to expand to take up to 600 pupils.

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The building which is earmarked for demolition, went up in 1842, although the original school was founded in 1787 on a different site. Modernised in 1956 and with a third storey put on in 1973, the charity says it has been much altered over the years, and at the end of its useful life.

None of the surrounding grade two listed buildings including those fronting Princes Dock, the Chapel, the Trinity House offices on Trinity House Lane, will be affected.

The trustees believe the short stay car park, with 64 spaces, will benefit struggling Whitefriargate nearby, with direct access to the shops from the Buoy Yard in front of the school, and also as an open space for festivals and arts events.

But English Heritage is objecting and while it agrees that the building – the only one in the immediate area not to be listed – is only “of modest architectural interest” says a car park will harm the conservation area and the setting of listed buildings.

A total of 109 letters of objection have been sent to the council. One commented that it was “unrealistic” to expect a car park to attract shoppers – and what was needed was more shops.

But planners recommend approval at a meeting on June 4, saying: “While a space uncluttered by cars may be preferable, as suggested by English Heritage, the overall benefits of opening up this space to public use are considered to override the preference for a car free area.”

Speaking about the plans last year chairman of the board of trustees Capt Dennis Robinson said: “There is a great deal of talk about the regeneration of the Old Town and the regeneration of Hull altogether.

“What we are looking at is providing a car park in the area of the Old Town to compete with St Stephen’s.”

But Coun Colin Inglis said the plans were “optimistic.” He said: “It’s a very sensitive site. I can’t imagine any other developer getting permission for such a plan.” The charity owns the south side of Whitefriargate as well as buildings on Trinity House Lane, Posterngate and Princes Dockside, including shops, offices and the school.