Property company buys former private school to turn into homes

A Staffordshire property company has confirmed it has bought a much-loved former private school with plans to develop it into housing.

The former private school
The former private school

Friel Homes has bought Abbots Bromley School and will soon prepare its plans.

The school, which is around 150 years old, closed in 2019 due to falling pupil numbers and longstanding financial problems.

It left 271 children needing to find new school places when it was decided it was no longer viable to offer fee-paying educational facilities there.

Now, Friel Homes has announced they’ve taken on the site and have also revealed their bosses' personal connection with the school.

Company’s owners Bill and Pat Friel’s daughters attended the school, and say they made happy memories and life-long friends there.

A company spokesperson said: “When Abbots Bromley School closed in 2019, we felt sadness along with many other former students, staff, parents and friends of the school.

“It is a great loss for future generations who will not experience the school’s traditions and unique atmosphere.

“When it became clear that the school was not going to reopen as an educational facility, we felt that we were well placed to ensure that this site, which is important to so many people, was developed in a sensitive way to preserve the school’s history and spirit as much as possible.”

They added: “As a family-owned, Staffordshire-based house builder, we focus on producing high quality developments which integrate seamlessly into the existing community.

“Many of our past schemes have been located within conservation areas and contain listed buildings.

“We prioritise the preservation of these historic sites by ensuring that our developments safeguard listed buildings for future generations, whilst respecting and taking inspiration from the local architecture.

“We plan to take this same approach whilst also acknowledging the past use as a well-respected and much-loved school.”

The company said they intend to work closely with the community on their plans, and will shortly begin initial consultations.

It’s understood the project is currently at a pre-application stage, and it could be up to 12 months before plans for the site are unveiled.

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