Telford and Wrekin looks to buy former sixth form college site

Telford and Wrekin Council has announced plans to buy the site of a former sixth form college, as part of its regeneration plans for the local area.

The council’s cabinet is due to meet on 14 March to discuss a proposal to buy the former New College site in Wellington, which closed its doors in July 2018 after a merger with nearby Telford College of Arts and Technology.

According to the cabinet papers, the council is looking to use the site for a ‘campus-style’ development, with new housing, supported accommodation, offices and room for small businesses.

Councillors will also be asked to approve an allocation of £200,000 from the council’s revenue contingency to undertake a detailed masterplan, achieve planning approval and carry out further survey work.

A further report will then be brought back to cabinet setting out detailed proposals which will be developed with the involvement of the local community.

New College sits within College ward, which is ranked within the 10% most deprived wards nationally.

The cabinet report states the ward has ‘particularly high deprivation indices’ in relation to employment, education, skills and training.

‘The former New College site is a large and important site, where there is the potential to make a significant contribution through a mixed-use development to support the regeneration of College ward,’ said council leader, Cllr Shaun Davies.

‘Were the site to be sold by Telford College to another party, there is a risk that a development that does not consider the context of the local area could come forward – ultimately risking a detrimental impact on the local community.

‘I have therefore taken the decision to use my Strong Leader powers to enable the final negotiation of the site acquisition by the council,’ added Cllr Davies.

Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for economic development and member for College Ward, said: ‘I really welcome this as it provides us with a significant opportunity to use a key site for a major regeneration project.

‘By securing the site, we will work to overcome a number of issues raised by local residents.’

The cabinet papers on the proposed acquisition of New College are available to read here.



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