Historic Rosemary Centre in Wilmington Sold for £1.2 Million at Auction, Plans for Commercial or Residential Use Underway

Historic Rosemary Centre in Wilmington Sold for £1.2 Million at Auction, Plans for Commercial or Residential Use Underway

The Rosemary Centre, located on High Road in Wilmington near Dartford, has been sold for a staggering £1.2 million at auction. The historic property was previously home to pupils of Wilmington County Primary School and was put up for sale by Kent County Council (KCC).

The site, which is nearly one acre in size, was auctioned off by Clive Emson this morning and received a total of 217 bids. The property sold for more than double its original guide price of £500,000.

The Rosemary Centre was previously part of the North West Kent Alternative Provision Service, which provided short-term respite placements and longer placements for pupils aged five to 16. However, the majority of its services were shut down in 2020 and the property now serves as a main hub for the Alternative Learning Trust.

The property is primarily one main single-storey building with three rooms on a second floor that was previously used as the school headmaster’s area. According to the auctioneers, the property has the potential to be converted for commercial use or even residential use, subject to obtaining necessary consents.

While the plans did not sit well with some residents and former pupils, who shared fond memories of the property, the sale has been finalized. The property features a war memorial dedicated to soldiers from Wilmington who fought in both world wars and a plaque to commemorate the students who attended the school.

Kent County Council has confirmed that plans have been agreed to transfer the war memorial to a new owner. A spokesperson for KCC stated that the funds raised from the sale will be reinvested into KCC service delivery and the modernization of the council’s estate.

Wilmington Parish Council had previously requested for The Rosemary Centre to be designated as an Asset of Community Value, which would give the community the opportunity to raise funds and bid for the property if it were to be sold. However, KCC has objected to this request and will be working with the new owner to finalize the transfer of the property.

While the future of the Rosemary Centre is uncertain, the local community is hopeful that the property will be put to good use and the war memorial will be preserved. The responsibility for determining any future planning applications for the site will rest with Dartford council.

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