NEW life will be breathed into an old school after plans to convert it into two holiday cottages were given the green light.

Flintshire Council officers have approved proposals to transform Ysgol Rhes-y-Cae on Halkyn Mountain, which closed in 2013 after pupil numbers dwindled to single figures.

A planning application was submitted in June by Ruthin-based property developers Jones and Morrell Ltd, who said the revamp of the school into self-catering holiday accommodation would provide a boost to the local economy.

In a statement accompanying the plans, they said: "It is considered that the proposed conversion into self-catering holiday accommodation in the suggested manner will bring back this building into productive use, which will benefit the tourist economy of the county.

"The cottages will comprise one three-bedroomed cottage and one four-bedroomed cottage providing cottage providing accommodation for a combined maximum number of 12 persons.

"It is accepted by the applicants that holiday occupancy conditions may be imposed on this conversion to prevent the use of the building as a permanent residence and, to avoid detrimentally affecting the character of the former school, any further extension to the building will be prevented through the removal of permitted development rights if considered necessary."

Flintshire Council put the school up for sale via estate agents in 2016 and it was eventually bought by the company in October 2017.

Before it was closed it was revealed that the school had a cost per pupil of £14,029, compared to an average in Flintshire of £3,319 and the council would save an estimated £119,328 a year by closing it.

In September 2011 a large hole opened up just yards from the school, after a mineshaft on Halkyn Mountain collapsed.

After the closure went ahead, children were relocated to other nearby schools.