New homes rise from site of former school in Telford

Building work is under way on 20 new homes in Telford on the site of a former specialist school.

The homes scheme has been hailed by Telford & Wrekin Council as a long-term benefit to the borough from the £75 million Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme launched in 2013.

The Swan Centre in Stirchley used to house a specialised pupil referral unit but closed in 2013.

Sutton Coldfield-based housebuilder the James Maddison Homes is now constructing the new homes on the site.

The 1.6-acre site, on Grange Avenue, was sold to the new owners by the council and they secured full planning permission last year.

Councillor David Wright, the council’s cabinet member for economy, housing, transport, and infrastructure, said: “As well as providing new and improved schools across Telford and Wrekin this programme freed up sites for regeneration, allowing for the creation of much-needed new homes.”

It is another success for Telford, said Councillor Wright.

“As well as improving the educational prospects of thousands of children across the borough, this programme has allowed to provide ‘shovel-ready’ sites for builders to construct much-needed new housing in our district," he said.

“This empty site will soon be providing homes for 20 families."

The Nedge ward members, Councillors Chris Turley, Vanessa Holt and Nathan England, in a joint statement said: “Building Schools for the Future gave us great new schools but left this site empty.

"We are delighted that our patience in waiting for the right development has paid off, bringing new homes to this part of Telford.

“The success of this regeneration project is due to the commitment of members and the council as a whole to protect, care and invest to create a better borough.”

The access road to the former Swan Centre site, Judith Turley Close, was named after Councillor Turley’s late wife, a parish councillor for Stirchley & Brookside and Hollinswood & Randlay for many years.

Councillor Turley said: “Judith was a proud servant of the people as a councillor, and I am delighted that a road bearing her name will form a permanent, lasting part of the fabric of Telford.”

Blueprints drawn up by White Ridge Architecture show the new homes arranged around a T-shaped cul-de-sac, with access from Grange Avenue to the west.

All 20 houses will have two private parking spaces while a fence and hedge boundary will separate the new homes from the neighbouring Telford Park School.

The Swan Centre was one of seven schools closed under a £75 million Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme launched nearly a decade ago that replaced old primary schools as well as building six new secondary schools and academies.

Councillor Wright added: “The sale of this site is part of our long-term strategy to protect, care and invest to make this a better borough for all our people. Better schools and more affordable homes are key elements in this strategy.”

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