Work prepares for King’s homes plan
GROUNDWORK has started ahead of a planning application for homes at King’s School’s historic town site.
Contractors used drilling equipment to carry out ground tests at the Westminster Road playing fields this week.
This is part of King’s School’s main Cumberland Street campus and is accessed via a footbridge.
The front of the campus includes the historic building which the school moved to in the 1850s.
The work was to prepare for a planning application for houses later this year so the site can be sold to a developer.
It’s part of the school’s major plan to close Cumberland Street and the girls’ school at Fence Avenue and move to a new single-school site by 2020.
King’s has signed an agreement to buy 70 acres of green belt next to its Derby Playing Fields in Prestbury to build the £50million school.
It announced earlier this year it would have to sell off Cumberland Street and Fence Avenue to pay for the new school.
A spokesman said a planning application is also being drawn up for Fence Avenue, a green belt site included for 220 homes in Cheshire East’s Local Plan, which is yet to be signed off by the planning inspectorate.
The spokesman said: “We have three planning applications being drawn up. One for the new school at Prestbury, one for housing at Fence Avenue and another for Westminster Road.
“No decision has been made about the historic school buildings at Cumberland Street.
“We have conducted geo-technical and other survey work at Westminster Road in readiness for the planning application.
“We have been clear about our intention to sell off the sites for the new school.”
The Westminster Road site includes recently refurbished astro turf pitches and rugby pitches. It’s not clear how many houses will be built.
Lisa Hammond on Facebook said: “Wonder if the new homes will be new social housing which the town desperately needs.”
Coun Janet Jackson, Central ward councillor, said: “There is a balance to be struck. We want open spaces but there is a real pressure for housing.
“The school is a landmark and people will be interested in what happens to the historic buildings.
“It’s my view that we are in desperate need of a hotel. I’m on the planning committee so will treat the planning applications with an open mind.”
‘We have been clear about our intention to sell the sites’
●● Wincle School pupils with headmaster Mr Allen in the 1890s and the school in 1955
●● The drilling work at Westminster Road playing fields