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Council to sell old school house
7:00am Monday 21st January 2013 in News
A SCHOOL which closed its doors more than 50 years ago looks set to be sold by Thurrock Council.
The Old School House, in Rectory Road, West Tilbury, has stood empty since 1960, but the council now has architects working on a planning application to transform it into two new homes.
The disposal of the building was approved by the Labour cabinet as part of an asset managment plan in October last year.
A spokesman for the council said: “Thurrock Council have commissioned architects who will shortly be applying on the council's behalf for a consent to convert the old school to two dwellings.
“The council is likely to commence marketing the property in parallel with the planning application, but no doubt won't actually sell until the planning permission is in place.”
The schoolhouse opened in 1876 and had the space to teach around 66 children from reception until they left school.
The Victorian building was extended in 1894 to after a large gipsy camp arrived on West Tilbury Common, and by 1930 there were 118 children on the school roll.
It closed its doors on Friday, July 22 1960 and older pupils were sent to Torrells school in Grays, while primary aged pupils were sent to schools in Chadwell St Mary.
Independent ward councillor Barry Palmer said villagers in West Tilbury are very fond of the building.
He said: “I haven’t seen any plans so I’ll keep an open mind, but I think it would be nice to retain the property for the character of the village.
“West Tilbury is one of our few remaining villages in Thurrock, with its village green, and pub.
“We’ve still got the church, although it is redundant, the Old Bakery, and Well House, so it would be nice to keep this building too in some format.
”People in the village are very fond of it.”