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New homes and parking on Wellington mayor's wish list for college land

By Deborah Hardiman | Wellington | News | Published:

New homes and car parking are on the Mayor of Wellington's wish list for the site of a former school centre.

New College, a former school, closed in 2018 as part of a higher education merger, which saw the operations of Telford College of Arts and Technology (TCAT) and New College join together.

Since then the site in King Street, Wellington, has been bought by Telford & Wrekin Council to help support the area's regeneration needs.

Now the council has revealed it will shortly be submitting a planning application to demolish the modern college buildings, but retain the older section which is Grade II listed.

The move is being welcomed by Wellington's town mayor Councillor Anthony Lowe.

Mayor of Wellington Anthony Lowe

"The main thing is that the beautiful old building is kept. I'm not involved in planning matters so I'm unaware of what is being prepared," he said.

"I would like to see some car parking and some new homes developed. There is a shortage of car parking spaces in Wellington. I know it's not exactly centrally located in town, but anything to improve the parking in the area would be a good thing.

"There is a massive demand for housing.

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"We have got a lot of buildings in the old part of Wellington which we have had to modernise, particularly above shops, which is costly to do and which carries its own planning problems.

"If we can get some new homes built that would be overall less costly and a nice addition to the area."

Plans to demolish the former New College site will see the retention of the attractive original Edwardian school building which was recently been granted Grade ll Listed status.

The application will seek permission to knock down the modern main school buildings and the bridge link to the old building while respecting its listed status and setting.

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Demolition work will be carried out in phases later this year.

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Among the ideas the council explored when purchasing the site was to use it as a new home for Haughton Special School.

A report described the site has sitting in one of the most deprived areas nationally.

Telford & Wrekin Council said and a mixed use development is being considered.

The council's cabinet member for economy, housing, transport and infrastructure Councillor David Wright said: “The redevelopment of the former New College site will provide a great opportunity to bring new investment into Wellington.

“We are talking to a range of partners about the future of the site and we are fully committed to protecting the listed building on the frontage.”

The New College building was originally Wellington Girls' High School, which opened in 1908.

Students continued to work at both colleges throughout the 2017/18 academic year, even after the merger was approved by the government.

But then all classes were brought together on the former TCAT site in September 2018.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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