THE old home of one of Scotland's former top independent girls' schools could be turned into flats.

The work would mark the latest redevelopment of a site which has been the centre of angry protests and a major fire.

Glasgow based Lilybank Church Ltd has applied to the city council for permission to turn the former Laurel Park School in the West End into 21 flats. It also wants to build three mews properties in the grounds.

The former school, which occupied a terrace of converted townhouses at the junction of Lilybank Terrace and Great George Street, was voted one of the top 20 independent schools in the country in 1999.

But soon afterwards, it was revealed school bosses planned to merge it with Hutchesons' Grammar School.

Parents were infuriated by the plans and first aired their concerns at a tense meeting attended by nearly 300 people.

And around 50 people, some wearing T-shirts proclaiming "Pupils not Property", assembled outside Laurel Park to express their anger at the school board's merger proposals.

One of the main concerns was that the school would be sold to a property developer.

In January 2001, it was announced the merger with Hutchesons' would go ahead with the two schools combining under the Hutchesons' name.

The Lilybank Terrace home of Laurel Park became a co-educational primary school in August that year.

The Hutchesons' Grammar website states: "In a break with Laurel Park tradition, the Lilybank Primary would become co-education as part of co-educational Hutchesons' Grammar School.

"It was a sign of new times and could not be expected to be popular amongst all Laurel Park parents."

Less than 18 months after the merger, the Laurel Park teachers and pupils had been moved to the grammar school's Beaton Road premises in the South Side.

The former Laurel Park site was in the spotlight again in November 2008 when it was badly damaged in a massive blaze.

Around 50 firefighters tackled the fierce fire which reduced the former primary school buildings to charred shells.