NOTTINGHAMSHIRE County Council are refusing to reveal the name of the person who bought the old Greasley Beauvale School building in Newthorpe this week.
The school is famous for being where DH Lawrence studied and was sold privately last week for £200,000 – the bottom of the guide price – after it failed to sell at auction.
Members of the DH Lawrence Society are angry the name of the buyer has been kept secret, saying it should be public knowledge because it is a public building.
“You surely can’t have a council selling a public property and refusing to tell the public who the buyer is,” said society member Dave Brock.
“The council has to be accessible to the public who it serves. It was owned by the public. It can’t possibly be kept secret.”
Mr Brock said members were ‘nervous’ about what the buyer had in mind.
“This is a terrible and totally unsatisfactory outcome to a terrible and totally unsatisfactory business.
“It sets all the alarm bells off in your head. Now people will be really nervous. The whole thing stinks.”
Mr Brock was not happy with the price the building went for, saying the ‘magnificent asset’ had been ‘disposed of’ for too little.
“The school was built in the 1880 for £6,000,” he said. “An utter fortune back in those days. I don’t know what the comparable price would be today – but enormous sums of money. And it’s been sold for the price of a house.’”
Last week the Lawrence Society hit out at Nottinghamshire County Council for not consulting more on possible uses for the building.
Members wanted to turn it into a museum or a centre for Lawrence studies.
Mr Brock added: “We are very upset and disappointed but we will still cling on to the hope that because there’s a preservation order on it the Lawrence connection will remain.
“We are going to look into getting a plaque put up on the outside of the building.”
The building is Grade II listed, meaning the outside cannot be altered, but the inside can.
Cllr Reg Adair at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “It would not be appropriate for the council to disclose the identity of the buyer of the building but we can confirm it was a private individual.
“Once the sale has reached completion local people can find out the name of the new owner via the Land Registry.”
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