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Developer ordered to restore damaged school

AUTHORITIES have ordered a developer to restore a 128-year-old former school near Zhongshan Park parts of which had been knocked down for a real estate project.

Four buildings at the former St Mary's Hall, where Chinese writer Eileen Chang was educated, have been partly dismantled.

Changning District planning officials said the authority has ordered the developer to restore the buildings and the walkway connecting the buildings, today's Oriental Morning Post reported.

A ginkgo tree removed by the developer will be returned.

The school will remain one of the city's historical relics and only "appropriate development" will be allowed, officials said.

The order came after local residents' had appealed for the school to be preserved.

But the developer had been given approval for the project, according to earlier media reports. Under that plan, the bell tower bell at the school would have remained intact but the other buildings were to be knocked down or relocated.

Explaining the earlier approval, the Changning urban planning authority said only one building, the bell tower, had been recognized as one of the city's protected cultural relics, which means it cannot be knocked down or moved. Another five buildings at the school, however, could be moved, but not demolished.


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