Some other items from our October Newsletter


The new Gateacre Comprehensive School in Hedgefield Road, Belle Vale, opened in September, and the former school buildings in Grange Lane are currently awaiting demolition. As most local residents will be aware, they are being occupied on a temporary basis by 'property guardians' who pay a low rent in exchange for basic living accommodation in an unusual setting.

The school site will be advertised for sale, once a Development Brief has been drawn up by the City Council's planning department. As yet, no details of this are available - though we have been assured that we will have an input to its contents. (No decision was ever made on the Outline Planning Application for housing development, submitted in 2007).


Two of the proposals mentioned in last month's Newsletter - for retaining floodlights and slate chippings in front of the Bear & Staff, and erecting a phone mast at the 'Gateacre Brewery Shed' - have been turned down by the City Council's planning department.

In the case of the Bear & Staff, application 11F/1926 was refused because "The two floodlights are ... visually dominant during hours of darkness and appear urban in character. ... The purple slate ... has a visually dominant impact on the Conservation Area and is out of keeping with the character of the surrounding area".

In the case of the Brewery Shed - the building to the south of Lower Sandfield - application 11F/1928 was refused because "The proposed mast ... would represent an alien feature ... The skyline in the locale ... is typically restricted to 2 storeys with the exception of key historic buildings such as the Brewery Tower and the former school cupola. A structure such as that proposed would compete with these architectural features to the detriment of the character and appearance of the Conservation Area". Also, "Views to and from a number of nearby Grade II listed buildings form part of their setting and ... the mast will interrupt these views".

Find out more about the
Property Guardians

For fun - as well as refreshments - come along to our A.G.M. and Local History Quiz, on Sunday 30th October
. But be sure to read our book - Gateacre & Belle Vale: in old photographs, published by The History Press in 2009 - before you do, as it holds all the answers to the questions!

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