RENEWED plans for the demolition of an “eyesore” former school have been welcomed by a council leader.

Derbyshire-based Chatsworth Settlement Trustees, which owns the land home to Wellspring Christian School in Cotehill, has submitted a fresh application to Carlisle City Council after its three-year time limit on its previous approval expired.

The charity also owns the land and estates of the Duke of Devonshire and wants to demolish the former school and build three new homes in its place. The former village school closed in 1995, with plans for demolition previously approved in 2017.

“It is in a poor state and the interior is dangerous,” explained Wetheral parish council chairman, Barry Earp.

“There was an application put in for demolition in 2016 and it was approved in 2017.

“The application says it is for three dwellings. In my view it will be very worthwhile to have new properties within Cotehill for the elderly.”

Mr Earp says the issue has been a concern for the parish council for some time.

“The sooner it is done, the better,” he explained.

“I have been involved for a long period of time. The sooner something happens the better.

“We can’t force people once they get planning to carry it out.”

It has long been a bone of contention for local residents, according to the chairman.

He said: “Local people have been up in arms, the parish council have been made aware of it.

“I have had conversations with people from Savills, the firm who will be responsible for the demolition, over the years.

“We are still waiting for something to happen.”

Despite the frustration, Mr Earp still supported the application.

He said: “I agree with it. The existing building needs to be demolished. It is in a dilapidated state and the build is very poor quality.”

The original school site was larger but since the school closed in 1995, the former school playing fields have been developed.

To the south and south west of the Old School House, on the school’s former playing fields, a residential development was approved and developed between 1997 and 1998. This involved the construction of 13 homes. Carlisle City Council received the latest application on September 10.

The News & Star contacted Chatsworth Settlement Trustees, but it was unable to respond by the time the edition went to print.