A landmark former school building will be torn down to make way for new flats and houses.

The site of the old Caldewgate School, in Kendal Street, Carlisle, had last been used by the University of Cumbria as its fine art campus up until a couple of years ago.

Its future has now been decided, with Carlisle City Council's development control committee giving the green light to plans tabled by McKnight and Son Builders.

The Carlisle-based building firm now has permission to construct 15 terraced houses and 20 flats on the site where the school operated from 1872 until 1988.

Councillors on the committee unanimously waved through the application.

But they did express some disappointment that the historic building would be lost, however they said they had no ground to turn it down as it is not listed.

Councillor Doreen Parsons said: "I'm pleased to see they are keeping some of the architectural features.

"We did notice on the site visit that there is some interesting architecture."

Fellow committee member Anne Glendinning said: "It's a shame in some ways to lose an iconic building even if it hasn't got that protection."

It was noted in the meeting that at the request of the county's conservation officer the inside and outside of the building will be recorded for historical purposes.

Councillor Hugh McDevitt added: "It's nice to see that area being developed and the development is appropriate."

Two charities: Cumbria Blood Bikes; and The Encouragement Shed, which is run by Carlisle's Vineyard Church, have been using the buildings - but their future is unknown.

Wayne McKnight, of McKnight and Son Builders, has previously said the homes would take 12 to 15 months to build once planning permission is granted.

He suggested the mix of two and three bedroom-properties would be suitable as starter homes, of which there is demand for in the city. Three units will be classed as "affordable".

However, 23 letters of objection were sent to the council about these plans.

In those objections concerns were raised about the noise and dust that could arise from the demolition of the school building and how the rubble will be disposed of.

Other questions concern vehicles accessing the site during both the demolition and building stages, as well as parking arrangements.

Two people did write in to support the application, saying that while the old school may hold sentimental value for some people it does not have "real architectural merit".

They also believed the buildings are likely to deteriorate and become a target for vandals in the future.

The scheme was recommended for approval by planning officer Richard Maunsall.

In his report he wrote: "The current application site can be viewed as being in a sustainable location, well-related to existing residential areas of the city and the principle of residential development is consistent with the national requirements and the council's own housing policy."