Bidding war expected on old school site

PUBLISHED: 11:24 11 February 2010 | UPDATED: 22:08 31 May 2010

An aerial shot of the Bell School in Saffron Walden

An aerial shot of the Bell School in Saffron Walden

BIDS are now being accepted from developers for a three-and-a-half acre plot of prime land in Saffron Walden - and interest is expected to be high. The former Bell Language School on South Road, which comes complete with planning permission for 37 dwellin

BIDS are now being accepted from developers for a three-and-a-half acre plot of prime land in Saffron Walden - and interest is expected to be high.

The former Bell Language School on South Road, which comes complete with planning permission for 37 dwellings and a 58-bed care home, has been put up for sale by Savills.

Estate agent Richard Janes described the site as a "significant development opportunity for those looking for a medium sized scheme in Essex".

He added: "A site like this, with existing planning permission, hasn't come to the market for some time in the area.

"As a readily developable site with good infrastructure and local amenities, we expect interest to be very high for both the residential and care home elements."

No price has been put on the site which is for sale by private treaty, meaning any offer can be made from interested parties. These offers will then be reviewed and a final bid date set.

The site is for sale as a whole or in two separate lots. The private residential element, which includes the former school building, comprises 1.85 acres of land with outline planning permission for 19 converted apartments and 18 newly built town houses.

The other area of the site has been allocated for the development of a 30,000 sq ft, care home on 0.75 acres.

The origin of the main building dates from 1884 and was the home of the Bell Language School for more than 30 years until August 2007 when they vacated the property.

Any developer which buys the site is obliged to build a new home for the Bell Nursery which has operated from the location for more than 20 years. The site also comes with section 106 agreements including £5000 towards public open spaces and £15,000 towards transport and highways.

The consented scheme will include 25 affordable homes which are not included in the sale and will be built by a housing association.

Although neighbours have expressed a desire for the empty buildings to be developed, concerns have been raised about access from South Road and the impact of increased traffic movements on an already busy road.

For further information please contact Richard Janes at Savills Cambridge on 01223 347097.

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