A local historian has slammed plans to demolish an "important" 19th century school building in Shinfield and replace it with a modern building.

If approved, the proposal would see Crosfields School, on Shinfield Road, expanding the age range of its class groups from three-13 to three-16 years.

Dennis Wood, author of ‘Views from the Hill, the Story of Whitley’, says the “important building” at the school should be listed nationally or locally.

Mr Wood has written to Wokingham Borough Council and Reading Borough Council (RBC) calling for the White Building to retained as a building of local importance.

He said: “The White Building is not just any building but is an important building of archaeological and historic interest.

“It should therefore be retained as a building of local importance by listing it either nationally or locally and definitely not demolished.”

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David Miller Architects (DMA), which won a competition to design the new building for Crosfields School, disagree with Mr Wood’s claims.

The company say “it has been established the buildings has no architectural and historic significance”.

Crosfields headmaster Craig Watson said: “The School is aware of the comment made against its recent planning application and are working with the Planning team at Wokingham Borough Council.”

Mr Wood explains the history of the site in his letter to both councils:

“The White Building was built on the site of the original Stuart building known then as Shinfield Park, built by Sir Francis Englefield.

Shinfield Park is reputed to have been the resting place of King Charles I during the Civil War who is said to have complimented the house by saying he had had a ‘goode reste’.

The house was called Goodrest from this time onwards and this name passed to the current house, now known as the White Building, when it was built on the same site as the old demolished house in about 1820 for Edward Willes.

The house has changed little since it was built in 1820 and therefore has strong historic interest as well as archaeological interest.

In the 1860s, it was recognised as one of the four principal residences in Shinfield.

From 1875, there were various owners until the Second World War when it was used by the War Department as a convalescent home for RAF Officers.

The Goodrest estate was purchased for Leighton Park Junior School in 1945, which was later renamed Crosfields School when it became independent of Leighton Park in 1957.”

Shinfield Parish Council has also objected to the application as they are opposed to “adding more vehicles to already congested roads”.

DMA explain the reason for the development in the planning application submitted to WBC and RBC: “Currently the building has no teaching facilities and is deteriorating structurally.

“The school requires additional teaching spaces and modern facilities for staff and these are unable to be provided within the White Building.

“It will be of greater benefit to the school to provide a new building of good architectural quality than refurbish an existing building that will not be able to meet the school’s needs both spatially and qualitatively.”