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Matthew Hancock
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Time to have your say on what happens to the Westfield School site

Wednesday, 7th December 2011.

A plan to earmark the Westfield Primary School site for redevelopment for around 30 homes is being put forward by Suffolk County Council.

In the spring Westfield Primary School and the Little Wonders Pre School in Manor Road Haverhill are due to relocate to a new site adjoining the Samuel Ward Academy.

The current school will then become vacant and a new use needs to be found for the buildings and the land.

A consultation about a specific proposal to develop the site for housing, including affordable units, has started, and there will be a display at the library and Abbeycroft Leisure Centre, plus a drop-in evening at the school tomorrow evening (Thursday, December 8) from 5-7.30pm, to which all are welcome.

The deadline for all responses is Friday, January 13.

The following link summarises information on the plan, and directs people to the detailed draft design brief:

In summary, it says Westfield Primary School is surplus to the requirements of the county education authority and an extensive consultation exercise has not revealed any need, or demand, to retain either the land, or the buildings, for alternative community uses.

Appropriate, and improved, sports pitch and recreation provision is being made at the new school site off Chalkstone Way, and a home for the Little Wonders Pre-School, which was the only potential use put forward at the general consultation about uses of redundant schools in Haverhill last year, is to be found on the new site.

The council considers that the site is, in principle, suitable for residential development.

The design brief sets out potential objectives for the development of the site. It has been informed by the earlier consultations. The main aims, which are expressed in the concept plan, are that:
"Any proposal must strike an appropriate balance between maximising the development potential of the site; respecting existing site characteristics (and, in particular, the open nature of the site boundaries); and properly integrating the development into the surrounding townscape. The development should create a sense of place, whilst, at the same time, enhancing the character of the locality."

The draft design brief will now be the subject of a further period of consultation, to be undertaken in accordance with the principles set out in St Edmundsbury Borough Councilís adopted statement of community involvement.

Any responses received will be used to up-date, and refine, the brief, before it is submitted to St Edmundsbury for its agreement and potentially adoption as non-statutory planning guidance.

If adopted, the design brief would then be used to guide the future development of the site.

Haverhill Online News

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