Swindon AdvertiserApartment plan for fast deteriorating college (From Swindon Advertiser)

Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us

Apartment plan for fast deteriorating college

Swindon Advertiser: Dave Wood Dave Wood

AN ABANDONED listed building could soon be given a new lease of life – but only if the elements don’t get to it first.

The former college on Victoria Road has been falling into disrepair, but an application has now been put forward to convert the building into apartments.

The building is adjacent to the Regent Circus development and this year it was given listed status.

Because of the size and location of the building, residential use is seen as the only viable option for the building if its future is to be secured.

However, it has been left empty since 2006 and the elements, along with vandals, have taken their toll.

The application describes the poor condition, largely caused by the terrible state of the roof, and a programme of urgent repairs is required before permanent damage is done. If the development is given approval then it is hoped much of the original roofing can be saved.

A document outlining the plan states: “The loss of lead flashings and guttering and ineffective downpipes to the roof perhaps accounts for the greatest amount of deterioration to the building as a whole.

“Recent site inspection photographs show signs of progressive deterioration and more intrusive investigation is required to uncover the full extent of damage to the fabric.

“The second floor is currently unsafe for inspection due to its deterioration from the weather and the ground floor was noted as completely flooded following incessant rain last winter.

“Work should therefore commence urgently to prevent the situation becoming worse.”

The building is owned by the same company behind the Regent Circus development, Ashfield Land, who have previously said the only way to bring the building back into use is to turn it into apartments.

The college was built in 1895 and designed by local architect Thomas Ball Silcock. It was one of the first purpose-built technical schools, with a strong link to the history of Swindon.

Local councillors, along with civic groups, have long campaigned for something to be done to secure the building.

Coun Dave Wood (Lib Dem, Eastcott) said: “We have long said there were problems with the college deteriorating but were always told everything was OK.

“To now find out that this is not the case is very frustrating and I want to see these problems addressed.

“We feel the college would be the perfect location for the new museum and art gallery but the council went with another site so we need to be pragmatic.

“If it is done with a soft touch then the apartments may be the best option to secure the building. There are examples of this being done well, such as the former school on Euclid Street.”

Due to the state of the building, talks are going on between the council and the developers on the best course of action to fix the building.

Comments (22)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:15am Thu 3 Jul 14

bampi says...

Lets turn it into a benefits/social aka doss house centre there's always plenty of money for waif's and strays.....when it's ready and we have spent several million on it, let them abuse it for several years then demolish it.
Lets turn it into a benefits/social aka doss house centre there's always plenty of money for waif's and strays.....when it's ready and we have spent several million on it, let them abuse it for several years then demolish it. bampi
  • Score: -11

6:35am Thu 3 Jul 14

beach1e says...

yet another shameful act of vandalism by Swindon Council who allow the few decent buildings in Swindon get into this state.
yet another shameful act of vandalism by Swindon Council who allow the few decent buildings in Swindon get into this state. beach1e
  • Score: 22

7:48am Thu 3 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...

beach1e wrote:
yet another shameful act of vandalism by Swindon Council who allow the few decent buildings in Swindon get into this state.
Agreed. This building, in particular, would have been worth a small fortune anywhere else. It has heritage, it's elegant and it's location could not be better for commercial use.

As ever, it's been left to basically fall down and then be given away to anyone who'll have it.

Pathetic.
[quote][p][bold]beach1e[/bold] wrote: yet another shameful act of vandalism by Swindon Council who allow the few decent buildings in Swindon get into this state.[/p][/quote]Agreed. This building, in particular, would have been worth a small fortune anywhere else. It has heritage, it's elegant and it's location could not be better for commercial use. As ever, it's been left to basically fall down and then be given away to anyone who'll have it. Pathetic. Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 17

8:33am Thu 3 Jul 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

How many times was this building inspected since 2006? isn't the job of the council to look after our assets and make sure that they are not becoming a threat to the public?
Can we have the name of the person responsible at the council?
How many times was this building inspected since 2006? isn't the job of the council to look after our assets and make sure that they are not becoming a threat to the public? Can we have the name of the person responsible at the council? A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: 21

8:52am Thu 3 Jul 14

Ollie Dognacky says...

More flats 😕.
What a shameful lack of imagination.
No doubt, some demented cabinet councillor will claim that building more flats will be "vibrant" and "buoyant" and this will cause Swindon to be "bucking the trend" in a "sustainable manner"
..... Appalling way to treat a building of great historic meaning and yet another symbol of the crass way that Swindon Borough Clownskool disrespect this town
More flats 😕. What a shameful lack of imagination. No doubt, some demented cabinet councillor will claim that building more flats will be "vibrant" and "buoyant" and this will cause Swindon to be "bucking the trend" in a "sustainable manner" ..... Appalling way to treat a building of great historic meaning and yet another symbol of the crass way that Swindon Borough Clownskool disrespect this town Ollie Dognacky
  • Score: -9

9:18am Thu 3 Jul 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

Ollie Dognacky wrote:
More flats 😕.
What a shameful lack of imagination.
No doubt, some demented cabinet councillor will claim that building more flats will be "vibrant" and "buoyant" and this will cause Swindon to be "bucking the trend" in a "sustainable manner"
..... Appalling way to treat a building of great historic meaning and yet another symbol of the crass way that Swindon Borough Clownskool disrespect this town
Not a lack of imagination, this is the only solution to a housing crisis made worse by the NIMBYs all around Swindon.
If we cannot build on the fringes then we are left with no choice but to build, concentrate on urban developments.
[quote][p][bold]Ollie Dognacky[/bold] wrote: More flats 😕. What a shameful lack of imagination. No doubt, some demented cabinet councillor will claim that building more flats will be "vibrant" and "buoyant" and this will cause Swindon to be "bucking the trend" in a "sustainable manner" ..... Appalling way to treat a building of great historic meaning and yet another symbol of the crass way that Swindon Borough Clownskool disrespect this town[/p][/quote]Not a lack of imagination, this is the only solution to a housing crisis made worse by the NIMBYs all around Swindon. If we cannot build on the fringes then we are left with no choice but to build, concentrate on urban developments. A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: 13

10:08am Thu 3 Jul 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Not sure why people are blaming the council for the state of the building which is privately owned. Blame Ashfield Land - they're the ones that have allowed it to deteriorate.
Not sure why people are blaming the council for the state of the building which is privately owned. Blame Ashfield Land - they're the ones that have allowed it to deteriorate. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 15

10:09am Thu 3 Jul 14

Ollie Dognacky says...

More flats 😕. What a shameful lack of imagination. No doubt, some demented cabinet councillor will claim that building more flats will be "vibrant" and "buoyant" and this will cause Swindon to be "bucking the trend" in a "sustainable manner" ..... Appalling way to treat a building of great historic meaning and yet another symbol of the crass way that Swindon Borough Clownskool disrespect this town
Score +3297👍
More flats 😕. What a shameful lack of imagination. No doubt, some demented cabinet councillor will claim that building more flats will be "vibrant" and "buoyant" and this will cause Swindon to be "bucking the trend" in a "sustainable manner" ..... Appalling way to treat a building of great historic meaning and yet another symbol of the crass way that Swindon Borough Clownskool disrespect this town Score +3297👍 Ollie Dognacky
  • Score: -7

10:39am Thu 3 Jul 14

MrAngry says...

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man wrote:
Not sure why people are blaming the council for the state of the building which is privately owned. Blame Ashfield Land - they're the ones that have allowed it to deteriorate.
The developer is ultimately at fault, but the building is Grade 2 listed and it is the council's job to enforce this. The should have intervened a long time ago.
[quote][p][bold]The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man[/bold] wrote: Not sure why people are blaming the council for the state of the building which is privately owned. Blame Ashfield Land - they're the ones that have allowed it to deteriorate.[/p][/quote]The developer is ultimately at fault, but the building is Grade 2 listed and it is the council's job to enforce this. The should have intervened a long time ago. MrAngry
  • Score: 13

11:20am Thu 3 Jul 14

Davey Gravey says...

Another one of Swindons historic buildings with character left to rot and inevitably be demolished. Disgraceful!
Another one of Swindons historic buildings with character left to rot and inevitably be demolished. Disgraceful! Davey Gravey
  • Score: 3

11:33am Thu 3 Jul 14

Oik1 says...

It'll be a handy spot for a car park!
It'll be a handy spot for a car park! Oik1
  • Score: 0

11:54am Thu 3 Jul 14

swindondad says...

I think that this planning application (and the work should it go ahead) will be a positive thing both for the building and the area.

The deterioration of the building coincidence with the drop in the property market but now that values have risen the project is viable.
I think that this planning application (and the work should it go ahead) will be a positive thing both for the building and the area. The deterioration of the building coincidence with the drop in the property market but now that values have risen the project is viable. swindondad
  • Score: 4

12:08pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Davey Gravey says...

Sandor clegane, channelx, ringer, Tim newroman up to his old tricks again.
Sandor clegane, channelx, ringer, Tim newroman up to his old tricks again. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 0

12:34pm Thu 3 Jul 14

messyits says...

Sandor Clegane wrote:
beach1e wrote:
yet another shameful act of vandalism by Swindon Council who allow the few decent buildings in Swindon get into this state.
Agreed. This building, in particular, would have been worth a small fortune anywhere else. It has heritage, it's elegant and it's location could not be better for commercial use.

As ever, it's been left to basically fall down and then be given away to anyone who'll have it.

Pathetic.
The article was very clear as to ownership.
[quote][p][bold]Sandor Clegane[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]beach1e[/bold] wrote: yet another shameful act of vandalism by Swindon Council who allow the few decent buildings in Swindon get into this state.[/p][/quote]Agreed. This building, in particular, would have been worth a small fortune anywhere else. It has heritage, it's elegant and it's location could not be better for commercial use. As ever, it's been left to basically fall down and then be given away to anyone who'll have it. Pathetic.[/p][/quote]The article was very clear as to ownership. messyits
  • Score: -5

1:20pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Ollie Dognacky says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Sandor clegane, channelx, ringer, Tim newroman up to his old tricks again.
Yeah it's pretty sad.
Not surprised all of his "businesses" flopped
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Sandor clegane, channelx, ringer, Tim newroman up to his old tricks again.[/p][/quote]Yeah it's pretty sad. Not surprised all of his "businesses" flopped Ollie Dognacky
  • Score: 5

3:00pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...

messyits wrote:
Sandor Clegane wrote:
beach1e wrote:
yet another shameful act of vandalism by Swindon Council who allow the few decent buildings in Swindon get into this state.
Agreed. This building, in particular, would have been worth a small fortune anywhere else. It has heritage, it's elegant and it's location could not be better for commercial use.

As ever, it's been left to basically fall down and then be given away to anyone who'll have it.

Pathetic.
The article was very clear as to ownership.
Yes, Ashfield Land.

How do you suppose they acquired it then, itsamess?
[quote][p][bold]messyits[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sandor Clegane[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]beach1e[/bold] wrote: yet another shameful act of vandalism by Swindon Council who allow the few decent buildings in Swindon get into this state.[/p][/quote]Agreed. This building, in particular, would have been worth a small fortune anywhere else. It has heritage, it's elegant and it's location could not be better for commercial use. As ever, it's been left to basically fall down and then be given away to anyone who'll have it. Pathetic.[/p][/quote]The article was very clear as to ownership.[/p][/quote]Yes, Ashfield Land. How do you suppose they acquired it then, itsamess? Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 2

4:36pm Thu 3 Jul 14

messyits says...

How do you suppose they acquired it then, itsamess?

You mean you don't know?

How do you suppose they acquired it then, itsamess? You mean you don't know?   messyits
  • Score: -5

4:50pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Ollie Dognacky says...

We all knew it wouldn't take ChannelX long to start antagonising people.
What a sad individual 😳
We all knew it wouldn't take ChannelX long to start antagonising people. What a sad individual 😳 Ollie Dognacky
  • Score: 2

4:53pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Al Smith says...

You just have to take a wander around the town centre to see just how much empty office space there is in the town. Makes you wonder if someone persuaded Ashfield Land to propose offices because any canny property developer would know there's more money to be made in converting the old college into flats.
You just have to take a wander around the town centre to see just how much empty office space there is in the town. Makes you wonder if someone persuaded Ashfield Land to propose offices because any canny property developer would know there's more money to be made in converting the old college into flats. Al Smith
  • Score: 2

5:37pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Wildwestener says...

It seems we always get to the point where lovely buildings are in such a state of disrepair that we are happy to let developers have it to make apartments etc and be grateful. That said, we need the housing so hey-ho
It seems we always get to the point where lovely buildings are in such a state of disrepair that we are happy to let developers have it to make apartments etc and be grateful. That said, we need the housing so hey-ho Wildwestener
  • Score: 4

6:10pm Thu 3 Jul 14

stratton man says...

Cllr Wood stop seeking photo oppotunities with the Adver and start going to the meetings we pay you to attend.Your attendance record is a disgrace.There a full council tonight will you be absent again?
Cllr Wood stop seeking photo oppotunities with the Adver and start going to the meetings we pay you to attend.Your attendance record is a disgrace.There a full council tonight will you be absent again? stratton man
  • Score: 4

6:25pm Thu 3 Jul 14

GalaxyMan says...

It is a, rare for Swindon, beautiful building. If flats are the only way to save it then so be it.
It is a, rare for Swindon, beautiful building. If flats are the only way to save it then so be it. GalaxyMan
  • Score: 10
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree