Special school could move to Telford New College site
Telford's New College site is the subject of a £2.5 million move to relocate a special school and potentially build new houses.
New College has merged with Telford College of Arts and Technology and its premises, at King Street Wellington, will be available from September as it moves to the Haybridge Road campus.
Now Telford & Wrekin Council has confirmed it wants to buy the site and use it as the new home for Haughton Special School, Madeley.
The site would be extensively refurbished as part of the £2.45 million plan.
The council has also confirmed that the original Victorian part of the site could be "surplus to requirements and could therefore be sold for housing".
The authority said the special school has already outgrown its existing site, which has a capacity for 110 pupils but is attended by 132.
Currently extra space is provided by the temporary use of a building on the Captain Webb Primary School site. It is projected that numbers at the school could rise to 156 by 2021.
Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for finance, commercial services and economic development, said: "The New College site is a suitable alternative for Haughton School and will provide the children with superior and modern accommodation – as well as allowing us the opportunity to expand the facility in the future if required.
"However, we are going to carry out a thorough consultation with everybody affected at Haughton School including staff, parents and trade union representatives and this will run until March 12 – with findings reported to councillors on April 5.
“We do have plans to expand Haughton School on its existing site but, as well as costing £1.8m, these plans would take the school to the limit of its capacity and no further expansion would be possible.
Opportunities for the local community
“Therefore purchasing the New College site and relocating Haughton School there offers us a far more sustainable solution and increases our special school provision in response to the anticipated continued growth in demand.
"The reconfiguration of the site will also provide opportunities for the local community including access to off road parking which is at a premium in the vicinity. As part of the plans, the iconic old high school part of the building will also be retained."
The council said the if the plan goes ahead then the current Haughton Special School site would be either reused or sold .
The £2.45m needed to buy the New College site and redevelop it would come from the Department for Education’s Basic Need Grant Allocation.
If the deal goes ahead the council plan would include the relocation of Haughton Special School to the New College site, including four additional class bases to house additional pupils.
It would also see the creation of an additional unit to be used in the future – potentially a primary-aged social emotional and mental health special school, a further additional unit to house further Special Educational Needs and Disabilities provision for early years to meet increased need, and subject to planning, the original Victorian part of the site could be "surplus to requirements and could therefore be sold for housing".