Posted: Tue 4th Aug 2020

Council looks to fast-track £10.5m Queensferry school campus redevelopment plans

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Aug 4th, 2020

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A local authority is looking to fast-track plans worth £10.5m to transform a primary school site. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Flintshire Council entered proposals in June to refurbish Queensferry Primary School, which accommodates up to 180 full-time pupils aged three to eleven. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Kier Construction has already been appointed to oversee the redevelopment project, which would result in the demolition of several derelict buildings associated with the former John Summers High School. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The secondary school was controversially closed in 2017 despite a campaign to keep it open after the council abandoned earlier proposals to invest £18.5m in the site. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It would also see the creation of a new pupil referral unit, known as Plas Derwen, and a community hub building on the campus on Chester Road. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Planning officers are now seeking delegated authority from councillors to push the scheme through at the earliest possible opportunity. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The council said it would deliver improved educational facilities for the community. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

There have been no objections to plans as yet, although a site notice to advertise the changes has yet to expire. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In a report set to go before planning committee members tomorrow (Wednesday 5 August, 2020), chief planning officer Andrew Farrow said: “This application is for the redevelopment of the Queensferry campus site. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“This site is a local authority resource and previously accommodated John Summers High School, which closed in the summer of 2017 and has been partly demolished. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The site contains Queensferry Primary School, the Glanrafon resource centre and Hwb Cyfle Adult Day Care Centre. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The proposals include the demolition of remaining parts of the former John Summers High School, development of a new dining hall for the retained Queensferry Community Primary School alongside refurbishment works to the school, construction of a new Pupil Referral Unit and construction of a new community hub building.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

He added: “The redevelopment proposals form part of the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education Programme. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The remit of this programme being to deliver new investment in schools and colleges across Wales, improving facilities and reducing the number of educational buildings which are in poor condition.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

According to the documents, both pupil and staff numbers at the existing primary school would remain unchanged under the proposals. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The scheme would instead remove buildings which are deemed to be “unsuitable” for learning. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The pupil referral unit is designed to improve on an established facility at the site by boosting its capacity to cater for 98 children aged four to 16, who require specialist supervision for behavioural and social issues. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Meanwhile, the community hub would represent an entirely new development for the use of local groups, as well as providing sports changing rooms. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In his report, Mr Farrow stressed the need for the plans to be moved forward. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

He said: “Agreement is sought from the planning committee to delegate their decision making authority to the chief officer.
“The application has been brought before the planning committee at the earliest opportunity due to the need for a swift determination. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“However, due to the restrictions placed on visiting sites due to the COVID 19 pandemic the required statutory site notices displayed on site have not been erected for the minimum amount of time. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“As such it is requested that the committee delegate authority to the chief officer to determine the application subject to the conditions listed below on the provision that the site notice does not give rise to any other issue not covered by this report.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here). ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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