The campaign to save a charming Victorian school building in rural Herefordshire is set to culminate at a Court of Appeal Hearing as locals try to block a demolition bid.

Save Britain’s Heritage has been granted permission by the Court of Appeal to challenge plans to demolish the historic Victorian school building in Garway, in southwest Herefordshire.

SAVE Britain's Heritage, which has led the legal battle to save the school alongside a lively community campaign since 2020, will be making the case that demolition was approved without the correct process.


If the appeal is successful, the group hopes to set a legal precedent that it said could help save thousands of other unprotected historic buildings across the country.

The legal battle comes after a sustained campaign against the decision by Herefordshire Council in April 2022 to allow the demolition of the 1877 school building in the village of Garway under a planning loophole called Permitted Development Rights (PDR).

SAVE Britain's Heritage launched judicial review proceedings in response to the decision, culminating in a one-day hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice on London's Strand on November 9, 2022.

Hereford Times:

At the hearing, the group said it argued that the council had failed to properly assess whether the school was unsafe or uninhabitable, a key test when deciding whether to permit applications under PDR.


In order for the demolition of a building to be allowed under PDR - a planning mechanism which bypasses the need for full planning permission - a building must not have been rendered unsafe or uninhabitable as a result of the owner's own neglect (action or inaction).

SAVE Britain's Heritage said its view is that the council did not apply the correct test when considering whether the PDR right to demolition applied to Garway School.

The Court of Appeal decision to allow the group to challenge the previous High Court decision, which found in the council's favour, is a major step for the campaign and the last chance to save the "important and locally loved" building.