Renfrewshire councillors refused a planning application from a developer to demolish the iconic Half Time School in Paisley, which was due to be replaced by 40 flats.
Opened in 1887 to provide education to children who worked in Ferguslie Mills, this building is a key link to Paisley’s former mill town past. However, once the mills had gone it was later used as a nightclub but suffered damage from a fire in 1998 and has seen further deterioration of the building over the following years. There have been a few applications to build on that site and retain some of the building but unfortunately this has not come to much.
The latest application was to demolish the whole building and use some of the remaining brickwork as features in the car park. There was a concern that the developers didn’t appreciate the history of the site when they suggested having the name ‘Cotton Club’ emblazoned on the railings surrounding the new flats – instead of highlighting the historical significance of the Half Time school they preferred to highlight the name of one of the nightclubs which operated in the building!
Councillor John McNaughtan – seconded by Councillor Kenny MacLaren – moved against the council officers recommendations to demolish the building and found widespread support among all councillors in the council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board. Councillor McNaughtan highlighted the importance of protecting Paisley’s architectural and social history and also called for the council to use its full powers to protect not just the Half Time School but also all historic buildings within Paisley and Renfrewshire.
Councillor Kenny MacLaren said:
“I was happy to second Cllr McNaughtan in his opposition to the demolition of this iconic building. We have to look at how the council can use all its powers to protect and preserve such buildings across Paisley and Renfrewshire.”