Plans for the future of the former St Peter’s college site in North West Chelmsford are currently being developed, it has been announced, and will be shared with the local community to seek its views on what kind of development should happen.
The school closed in 2011 and a large part of the site has been unused since then. In 2014 a number of community organisations moved into refurbished accommodation in the former South Block, together with the Thriftwood Academy.
Essex County Council, which owns the land, is working alongside Chelmsford City Council to develop a ‘masterplan’ for the remainder of the site.
The land is seen as a good site for new educational facilities and new homes, with the County Council keen to use part of the site for a special educational needs school.
The City Council has produced a planning brief with guidelines on new development, including guidance on the type of new housing and public open space.
Cllr Neil Gulliver, cabinet member for Planning at Chelmsford City Council, said: “It is time to resolve the future of this important site and to design the right mix of development that integrates well with the rest of Melbourne and this part of Chelmsford. It is important to shape development in the light of community views, based on what is needed locally. The City Council has a role to steer the development after land is sold to developers.”
Cllr John Spence CBE, cabinet member with responsibility for Housing at Essex County Council, added: “As a previous chair of governors at St Peter’s I recognise the importance of this site. It is rare to have such a large piece of land so close to the city centre and the type of development which takes place will help shape the area in the long term. So it is critical that the community have their say.
“The site is capable of delivering much-needed new homes and we also want to retain part of the site to provide new special education needs school places. Investment in education is an absolutely fundamental part of our capital programme and in this year’s budget we announced more than £360 million would be spent on an education building programme.
“We know if we invest in creating a better environment, we are investing in the chance for these young people to achieve their maximum potential.”
The plans for the site will be open to consultation with local residents and further details on public events and drop in sessions will be available from the Chelmsford City Council website at www.chelmsford.gov.uk