The County You Live, Work And Play
Former School Will Become Offices
The former Gartsherrie Primary building is to be redeveloped into offices for John G Russell Transport. A planning application was approved for the site’s conversion into offices and a training facility for John G Russell Transport, who operate the adjacent container base.
It will see the prominent Gartsherrie Road facade of the C-listed red sandstone building being retained – while the rest of the 110-year-old former school will be demolished and replaced with new accommodation consisting of four linked square modular units.
The development plans come nearly six years after the Coatbridge school was closed by North Lanarkshire Council.
Councillors on North Lanarkshire’s planning committee were told in a report: “The applicant has emphasised the historical and cultural importance of the old school building, as well as the local history of John G Russell’s adjacent haulage business.
“The applicant has argued that conversion of the whole building is not economically viable whilst at the same time recognising its importance, and as such, has come up with the proposed facade retention and contemporary modular new build behind.”
It added: “The proposed building would be of two storeys; the design allows for the exposed pedimented gables of the original frontage to rise prominently above the new structure by several metres ensuring that it is the prominent feature.
“The applicant proposes minimal sympathetic maintenance works to the external fabric of the retained facade, including re-glazing existing window openings with modern dark grey metal frames.
“In essence, this application seeks to extend the existing haulage business to the application site; the proposed use is office, administration and training which relate to the business and are not incompatible in terms of impact on the adjacent residential area.
“The proposed works are proportionate in terms of safeguarding the facade of old school building, this being the main architectural feature, and will maintain a strong street presence.”
Planning committee members were told that there had been no representations concerning the plans, and that there were no objections from the council’s traffic and transportation officials.
The plans also include the creation of 96 parking spaces, with staff reaching the new building from the existing container base access.
They noted that listed building consent will also be needed for work on the neo-Jacobethan building, designed by James Davidson and described as “a good example of a square-plan school by one of Coatbridge’s most prolific and successful architects”.
Gartsherrie Primary closed its doors in 2010 as part of a programme of four school closures across North Lanarkshire with pupils being transferred to Townhead and Greenhill primaries.