HEREFORD Cathedral School is hoping to build a boarding house on the site of the council's former records office.

Herefordshire Council's cabinet member for contracts and assets Harry Bramer approved the disposal of the former records office in Harold Street, Hereford to the private school at open market value.

The school is currently in negotiation with the council to complete the sale and a planning application would then need to be approved.

In the written decision from Cllr Bramer, he said: "This disposal route represents the most cost effective method for the council to realise the value of the asset."

The decision notice from last November said the director of resources, Peter Robinson, was authorised to complete the sale.

The property has been left empty since August 2015 after the records office moved to a new Passivhaus building in Rotherwas. It was then declared surplus to the council's requirements.

Council documents said the building is expensive to maintain and is unsuitable for conversion and refurbishment.

Tony Featherstone, head of corporate asset management, said in his report: "The school wish to proceed quickly and in advance of making a formal planning application.

"This will remove uncertainty and a capital receipt will be realised in the

current financial year.

"A sale direct to the school will mean a significant saving as no selling agents fees will be incurred and vacant property rates would be minimised."

He added: "The offer which is unconditional and confidential represents what might be achieved if the property was sold on the open market.

"This has been validated by the district valuer which reflects current use with the potential for residential development but without the benefit of a detailed planning consent."

A spokesman for the school said: “Hereford Cathedral School is currently in negotiation with the council to purchase the Former Records Office in Harold Street with the intention of building a boarding house but these plans are still subject to planning permission.

"An informal public consultation took place earlier this month and the school is now in the final stages of preparing a planning application."