Homes scheme at old campus is approved
PLANNING chiefs have given the green light for the construction of 144 homes at the former Riverside College Runcorn campus.
Outline permission has been previously granted for up to 120 properties and a parallel application has been submitted for another 20 at the site.
Halton Council’s development control committee gave the go-ahead for both schemes at Runcorn Town Hall.
The full application was for a mix of two, three and four bedroom houses plus a canalside four-storey block with 32 twobedroom apartments, which will replace 10 four-bed town houses initially approved under the outline planning permission.
Councillors sitting on the local authority’s development control committee decided the matter in a public meeting at Runcorn Town Hall at 6.30pm on Monday, July 2. Objections were received from one resident who said that Runcorn needs a college campus far more than ‘far more than private property moguls’, as well as the Runcorn Locks And Restoration Society (RLRS) and the Manchester Ship Canal Company (MSCC).
A council report published ahead of Monday’s meeting said the RLRS has submitted alternative plans for the site, which would transform it into a marina with shops, a nursery and junior school in the college building plus a maritime college and affordable housing.
A letter from the RLRS said its own plans would provide a tourism boost and create jobs.
Discussions are reported to be under way to resolve issues relating to proximity to the grade-two listed Bridgewater House on an adjacent site.
The £8m Runcorn campus closed in 2011 having opened nine years earlier in 2002. It was assigned to teach mainly vocational GNVQ courses to up to 1,000 full-time and 1,500 part-time students. Following its closure, 22 non-teaching jobs were axed and 620 students transferred to Widnes.