Future use of Burnholme Community College site

28 Oct 2013 @ 5.18 pm
| News

 
Issued by City of York Council

The future use of the Burnholme Community College site will take a major step forward next week, when Cabinet will be asked to approve a broad consultation exercise with the local community to seek their views which will help determine what happens on the site following the closure of the college in July 2014.

The future use of the Burnholme Community College site will take a major step forward next week, when Cabinet will be asked to approve a broad consultation exercise with the local community to seek their views which will help determine what happens on the site following the closure of the college in July 2014.

In May 2012 Cabinet reluctantly took the decision to close Burnholme Community College due to continually low pupil uptake, making the school financially unsustainable.

At that time community groups and parents raised valid concerns about the future provision of community facilities currently delivered from the college site and for the loss of community cohesion as a result of the school closure.

Following this feedback, Cabinet committed to reviewing the future use of the site with a view to addressing these concerns by consulting with residents.

Over the last year the council has engaged closely with community groups, community leaders and all three local schools to ensure that a broad range of ideas were explored, potential options were understood and the detail of these ideas was worked up to enable a realistic picture of the viability of all options to be assessed.

From this review, a number of options were suggested for the future use of the site, which is 16.8 acres including 6.8 acres of brownfield, including support for sports use for young people, a local service hub (council, health and learning), affordable housing and retail use.

In addition to this, a number of organisations, including existing and potential users, have also expressed an interest in using the site – including sports clubs, libraries, pharmacies and more.

The council also assessed a number of options through the review, including housing use, a health and wellbeing hub, and small scale community use, which were given a full commercial development appraisal – assessing the cost, the viability and the match with community and council priorities and identifying the risks involved.

The highest scoring option was the creation of a part refurbished part new build Health and Wellbeing Hub with ongoing community provision. This option also delivers many of the requirements stated throughout the community engagement, but all options would need testing out with the broader community.

Cllr Dafydd Williams, Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance and Customer Service, said: “We remain committed to working with the local community to ensure that all potential ideas and options are explored for the future use of this site.

“Burnholme Community College played an important part in the lives of the local community and through this process we want to ensure that this site continues to play a central role.”

Cabinet will be asked agree to a community consultation exercise to seek views which will help steer the authority on the future use of the site. The options set out in the report are available to view here.

It is proposed that further work will be done to assess affordability, which will be brought back to Cabinet in early 2014 to inform a decision on the preferred option.

 


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