The Seashell Trust has submitted further important details with regards to its ongoing planning application to develop a new school and campus to provide specialist care for children with complex learning difficulties.
The Seashell Trust – Cheadle Hulme’s special school – submitted the initial plans for the campus transformation project in February of this year (2016). The plans include the demolition of the dated school buildings, development of a new school, family support services, residential accommodation for students and new sports facilities which will be available for public use.
The application also includes plans to build up to 325 homes on a section of greenbelt land owned by Seashell Trust between Wilmslow Road and the A34 at Heald Green. According to the Trust, the sale of the land for housing is key to the financial viability of the new school development and is the only viable option.
As part of the planning application process the Trust has this week submitted additional documents to prove that the campus meets the ‘exceptional circumstances’ needed to justify building on the greenbelt. A financial statement included in the documents also shows how all the money from the sale of the land will be reinvested in the development of the new school campus.
There were also additional layout, transport, and landscape documents submitted as part of the application, all of which the Trust believes will allow Stockport Council to approve the campus regeneration. The application is now expected to be determined in the early part of 2017, with work starting as early as next Summer.
The Seashell Trust Principal and CEO Mark Geraghty said: “This is a vital application for the future of the school and our very special children and we understand that we need to demonstrate a strong case for the application. We have worked very hard over the past nine months to provide the planning authority with all of the detail to allow them to make a fully informed decision. We are now looking forward to the application being determined and hopefully moving on with the much-needed regeneration of our campus which will maintain and enhance our nationally significant role with families of profoundly disabled children, and their schools.”
Mark added: “There really is no Plan B: We need this scheme to guarantee the future of Seashell Trust. Without the housing and sale of the land, this scheme simply can’t go ahead and we desperately need these new facilities to be able to continue to provide support and education for our students, many of whom have profound and challenging special needs.”
The plans are expected to be considered by Stockport Council’s Planning Committee in early 2017.