Plans to demolish the famous Bishop Hodson Grammar School in Elphin and replace it with town houses and retail units have met with strong opposition in the town.    A local councillor has branded plans to demolish the landmark building as ‘a disgrace’ – and called for a new educational role to instead be found for the facility. Cllr. Valerie Byrne (HAC) said that she was 100% behind the people of Elphin in their opposition to the planned destruction of the building.    ‘We lost our cathedral, and it would be a disgrace if we lost this building. It was left to the people of Elphin for educational purposes, and while we have our new school now, we could still find a role for this historic building. It could serve many purposes, perhaps even as a museum or centre in which to train young people.’     A decision is due early next month on the contentious planning application which envisages the provision of 19 residential town houses and three retail units on the site at Main Street, Elphin.    The planning application, which was lodged with Roscommon County Council before Christmas, is the subject of a number of objections from within the local community.    The Roscommon People understands that the building in question has the status of ‘proposed protected structure.’    By the time the deadline for objections passed on Monday of this week those objecting included Elphin Heritage Society, Bishop Hodson’s Preservation Action Group, Fianna Fail Elphin Cumann, local Parents Council, Elphin Branch of Fine Gael, Elphin SOS, Elphin Community School Board of Management, Bishop Hodson’s Grammar School Past Pupils Union and several individuals.    The planning application is in the name of the Governors of Bishop Hodson’s Endowment Fund and the proposed development is described in the planning application thus:  ‘