Search

Graveyard plan for old school

PUBLISHED: 16:27 11 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:59 03 July 2010

Weeds are now growing in the playground of the closed Martham First School.

Weeds are now growing in the playground of the closed Martham First School.

The playground is slowly disappearing under a carpet of weeds that find a way through the bright playground markings, and the large padlock on the gates tells its own story.

The playground is slowly disappearing under a carpet of weeds that find a way through the bright playground markings, and the large padlock on the gates tells its own story.

Nature has taken over in the two years Martham First School has been shut - but change could be just around the corner.

Planning rules prevent demolition of the 130 year old building the future of which is being discussed by Norfolk County Council's cabinet on Monday.

Following its closure as part of a county wide education shake-up to change the age of transfer to high school and revert to an infant/junior or primary school model 1566 consultation forms were sent out to villagers asking them what should become of the buildings.

Councillors on Monday will hear there has been unanimous support to extend the neighbouring church's graveyard, that one resident would like a small slice to add to his garden and that the most likely use for the school is for housing.

Residents voiced concerns about adding too many new homes to the footprint with some new builds remaining unsold in the village.

There was strong support for any development to include car parking for the church hall which has been refurbished but that any development should be small scale leaving as much space as possible.

Barry Coleman leader of the Conservative ruling group at Great Yarmouth Borough Council lives in Martham and has an affection for the school which is a part of the local landscape and where his children were pupils.

He said that although it was sad to see a building that was once so full of life dark and shuttered he shared local frustration about its worsening state and hoped something could be done quickly.

He welcomed the graveyard extension in what had become a large village, adding: “I am pleased the buildings are staying because they have some architectural merit and are part of the history of the village. It does look rather sad and I hope something can be done sympathetically and reasonably quickly but that depends on the economic climate.”

Parish council clerk Peter Dawson said members at one time had asked for a play area on the site but that overall their preferences had filtered through. He added it was hoped that any new housing would be affordable.

Cabinet members will be asked to approve the disposal of the former first school and to consider the graveyard, garden and homes plan.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury