A former Girls’ Grammar School in Wrexham, known locally as Grove Park School, has been awarded listed status for its special architectural interest
The decision to list the site was taken by the Cabinet Secretary after fresh and careful consideration of all submitted representations following a spot listing request made to Cadw earlier this year and a subsequent consultation with the owner, local planning authority and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.
By law, under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, a listed building must be of special architectural or historic interest.
The legislation is supported by guidance (Wales Office Circulars 61/96 and 1/98) which explains the criteria against which candidate buildings will be assessed. The listing criteria explains the principal factors to be taken into account when considering a listing request. For example, a building might be considered for an Architectural interest listing if it is deemed as being nationally important for its architectural design, decoration, and craftsmanship.
Ken Skates considered the range of information submitted to Cadw by both supporters and challengers of the listing request. This included written and visual evidence and specialist advice, as well as the peer review and the advice that Wrexham County Borough Council commissioned
In making his decision, the Cabinet Secretary acknowledged arguments on both sides but overall, considered there are sufficient grounds to approve the spot listing request for the former Grove Park School.
Ken Skates said:
“On the balance of the evidence presented to me, considering the merits of listing the building against the published criteria and in light of all the representations and all of the advice that has been submitted, I have agreed to the listing for the building’s special architectural interest as a building of definite quality and character as a key example of an interwar girl’s grammar school in the neo-classical tradition (in a 1930s interpretation) surviving largely intact.”
The Cabinet Secretary added:
“I believe the building is a key example of its type, with a number of features exhibiting stylistic flair. These include its handsome red brick exterior, the decoration between ground floor and first floor windows with herringbone brickwork and internal quality features such as an impressive elegant double sweep staircase being flooded with natural daylight by roof lanterns. There is also its parquet and terrazzo flooring, the sleek timber mouldings and the main hall being well proportioned and well lit.”
The decision to list the building has immediate effect and introduces a requirement for listed building consent to demolish the building or alter, or extend it in a way which affects it character as one of special architectural or historic interest.
Visit: Cadw website (external link).