Disability centre plan for Queensferry high school site

Reporter:

Rory Sheehan

Land at a school which controversially closed last year looks set to be given a new lease of life.

Plans are in place for a new
£4 million learning disability day services facility, with a sensory garden, at the site of the former John Summers High School in Queensferry.

The proposals aim to provide a facility to replace an existing one at Glanrafon, Chester Road West, and will go before Flintshire Council’s planning committee next week.

In his report to the committee, planning officer David Glyn Jones says the development should be given the green light.

He said: “This 0.66 hectare site occupies a prominent position on land formally comprising a part of both the buildings and playing fields associated with the now closed John Summers High School.

“The site is bounded on all sides by the remainder of the former school site. Further to the south and west of the site are areas of existing residential development.”

“The proposals provide for a single storey building upon land forming the highest point of the wider former school site.

“The building provides accommodation for the delivery of respite care and therapeutic support services to approximately 50 people each weekday and is served by 20 members of staff.” Mr Jones adds: “The building provides activity rooms, care support facilities, café and dining space, and ancillary office and meeting rooms.

“The proposals provide 27 (parking) spaces (including four disabled spaces) for staff and client and visitor vehicle parking.

“Facilities for the dropping off and picking up of clients within the proposed car parking area are proposed.

“Site landscaping is proposed, with the majority located in the proposed ‘sensory garden’ located to the south of the proposed building.”

Recommending the plans be given the go-ahead, Mr Jones said: “I am satisfied that the proposed development takes account of the applicable planning policies and represents the correct balance between the various issues which relate to this site.”

In December the Leader reported data obtained via a Freedom of Information request revealed more than £25,000 has been spent by Flintshire Council to secure the former John Summers High School site where this development would be based. Reasons given for closing the school were that it was no longer viable, and it was felt other schools in the area could provide at least an equivalent standard provision.

The closure last year was ratified by Kirsty Williams AM, the Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Education, after a lengthy battle between campaigners and Flintshire Council – subject to conditions being met over the development of Connah’s Quay High School.

Flintshire Council’s planning committee will make their decision at their meeting next Wednesday.

Email:

rory.sheehan@nwn.co.uk

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