2000: The school buildings are used for the last time as Cowbridge Sixth Form moves to the new school site. A covenant is placed on the school meaning that it can only be used for educational purposes.
2013: The ownership of the school site is transferred to the Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen Trust
2018: The educational covenant is lifted and the site advertised for commercial development.
December 2018: Hafod Housing Association submit plans to demolish the school buildings and build a four storey block of 43 flats alongside 5 townhouses.
January 2019: The campaign against loss of the buildings is launched with overwhelming objection to Hafod’s proposals. Over 2,300 people signed a petition against the development and more than 1,400 objections were received by the Council.
February 2019: A request to Cadw spot list the building is denied.
July 2019: An independent report is submitted to Cadw demonstrating the historical, architectural and communal importance of the buildings. This includes the discovery that it was the first school to be built specifically for the education of girls’ in Wales, and indeed the UK.
You can download the full report below:
August 2019: Cadw decline to list the building on the basis that it has uPVC windows and overlook the significance of it being the first school built specifically for the secondary education of girls and the importance of the architect.
A rebuttal to Cadw’s decision based on the fact that numerous buildings have been listed despite having uPVC windows.
September 2019: The Welsh Heritage Minister, Sir Dafydd Elis-Thomas, declines a request for a peer review on the decision not to list the school but endorses Cadw’s recommendation that the school is named as a ‘County Treasure’ and its significance considered when determining the application for its demolition.
September 2019: Cowbridge residents request a meeting with Hafod to discuss options for retaining the building for use as social housing.
13th September 2019: The school is listed by the Victorian Society on their ‘Top 10 Endangered Buildings’ list for 2019. Christopher Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said: ‘Cowbridge School is a beautifully crafted building, solid, handsome and capable of being reused. Its thoughtless demolition would be a huge blow to the town.’ You can read more about this here: https://www.victoriansociety.org.uk/news/victorian-society-top-10-most-endangered-buildings-2019
15th November 2019: At a meeting chaired by Jane Hutt AM, a few of the campaign group meet with Jas Bains (Hafod CEO) and chief planner, Kate Cutter. Options for retention of the building were discussed and examples provided where additional funding has been sourced to assist in the conversion of historic buildings into social housing. The strength of feeling against loss of the building was acknowledged and assurances given that Hafod would not ‘bulldoze’ its way through the town.
January 2020: Hafod submit revised plans for site which still include the demolition of the entire school. Full details of the new proposals can be found here: https://vogonline.planning-register.co.uk/PlaRecord.aspx?AppNo=2018/01408/FUL