Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Old Grammar School site


London-based property developer Welfare Dwellings Residential Care Ltd says it will hand over the building if district planners allow construction of up to 50 homes on site.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

they''ll get the huge payday they gambled on all those years ago when DCC sold OUR land cheap.

Postman2 said...

It looks to me as though they would have trouble getting 50 mobile homes on the site let alone 50 houses.

Anonymous said...

There is a rumour that they want to swap the old school building for an agreement with PDC that would allow them to cover the rest of the site with market houses (ie no affordable proportion). The so called free school would then use the building. How DCC would view an agreement to sacrifice affordable housing space to enable the establishment of a school to compete with theirs remains to be seen but then what can we expect from a company that was threatening to build a concentration camp for detained asylum seekers a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

There are 3 unused footy pitch sized 'parcels' of land. A footy pitch is approx a hectare, and 50 homes per hectare is EASY!

Depends upon ones definition of home.

DCC also want to make Northbrook the main road into Swanage.

Giving the building and some land (mebbie) will go a long way to meeting the Section 106 bit - no doubt affordable would be up for debate.

Anonymous said...

"There are 3 unused footy pitch sized 'parcels' of land" yes but Swanage Town Council owns two of them.

Anonymous said...

So it's only really 1/3 of the site, for 50 homes, just in the area the school would need for outbuildings, sports and the like.
Would be better to swop (give or take a bit) the land for the two fields owned by STC, with condition of say 50% social housing.
It would be great if the football club site could be redeveloped at the same time in a similar fashion to Purbeck Sports Centre.

Postman2 said...

Newton Grange was .56 of a hectare and they got 24 units on it.

Anonymous said...

So if STC have two hectares, in theory they have the potential for 2/.56 x 24 =85 units. Homes on Newton Grange seem to be selling at an average of about £220,000. 85 x £220,000 = £19M. Given a site is sometimes valued at a third of the potential value this means STC could be sitting on another £6M windfall. And produce another 30 or so affordable homes in the process. Plenty for a new sports center!

Anonymous said...

Shame those 2 hectares are owned by DCC!

Anonymous said...

I’ve heard that in return for donating the Grammar School building the developer wants to build 100% full price housing, i.e. no affordable\social element. Surely that can’t be right?

Anonymous said...

Exactly. At a time when DCC are reogranising the schools because of falling rolls PDC are being asked to endorse a scheme to deprive Purbeck School of 375 students and approve a development with a zero affordable housing content.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear!

When DCC impose things, the wail goes up - they never listen, we know best! When DCC listen, the wail goes up - why don't they just get on and do what's best!

So far as I'm aware the 0% affordable is purely rumour, however if you know better then please prove it!

Anonymous said...

Should the free school ever happen it will be interesting to see if the "aspirational" nothing is any good in Swanage want to send their children to it.

Anonymous said...

Curses! That should read "Should the free school ever happen it will be interesting to see if the "aspirational" nothing is any good element in Swanage want to send their children to it.

Anonymous said...

It'll only happen if people commit, so your comment ......?

Anonymous said...

"If"

Sounds like the old crack about the Laconites reply to the Spartans who were besieging their city.

David Furmage said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Tut tut, the Laconites were Spartans and the IF reply was used when Phillip 2 of Macedon had a pop at the Spartans.

David Furmage said...

Thing is some families I know will have some of their kids going to purbeck school and some still in swanage. It was a done deal when it changed to a 2 tier system and I for one was not keen on it thats for sure. Thou we have to move on with the times , and I am sure we have all been through harder times. And why not send kids to purbeck , it's like we are we scared to send our kids past Corfe and grow up? Or shall we still wrap them up in cotton wool so to speak!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the correction. Hadn't realised that it was the Spartans who were known for their laconic pronouncements, but the point remains.

Has Education Swanage really set itself the task of persuading the overwhelming majority of Swanage parents to agree to send their children to their school soley on what amounts to nothing more than a vague prospectus. Thats asking rather a lot IMHO but then how they think they can provide the range of educational opportunities Purbeck has is equally puzzling.

Anonymous said...

Whilst our local councillors seem to be offering Education Swanage and their proposals their unanimous support, the truth is that many parents, myself included, are far from convinced and some are even completely opposed to it. We simply cannot see how the proposed new school will come even close to offering the depth of curriculum, facilities and support that is available at The Purbeck School and elsewhere. Yes, of course we regret the prospect of sending our children to Wareham two years earlier than we would have had to previously. However, this does not persuade us to reject the established and proven secondary education that exists there.

Anonymous said...

No doubt the Education Swanage supporters will scream “parental choice” but in many ways their debate is over 30 years late and quite why the change to a two tier system is being used as the main driver to pursue their plans now in these austere times is something I can’t fathom. Swanage Middle School has done an excellent job in recent years and its closure is something that everyone should regret. However, 50% of its role relates to primary school education. It is also surely an undeniable fact that the proposed new Swanage School will adversely impact funding – and therefore risk standards - at the other schools in the district.

Anonymous said...

"Free" schools being the education secretary's hobby horse we can expect resources to be diverted their way, no doubt behind a smoke screen of some kind. It would be naive to believe the contrary.

I suspect that many councilors privately think the scheme is nonsense but are unwilling to pee into the headwind of public support whipped up by its advocates. They towed the party line a few decades ago over council house sales although many later admitted that it had been a disaster for local families and they will do exactly the same thing now.

Anonymous said...

"Another significant change from the White Paper that some parents have asked me about is the possibility of academy status. The idea has been discussed by governors and while there are benefits, there are also some pitfalls; in particular there is now no capital funding attached to academies and of course as you are well aware, the change in our status from 2013 makes us very capital hungry. We urgently need new and refurbished accommodation and the County Council is publicly committed to a multi-million investment programme. So, for the time being the issue is not central to school improvement discussions."
Richard Holman, Purbeck School April 2011 newsletter

Anonymous said...

I am also not swayed by Education Swanage's vision of educational utopia. As a parent, I could frankly care less about the 'parquet floors' and 'origional science lab' that still exist at the Grammar School. How about the modern, well equipped labs at Purbeck School, a school that has been developing and improving year on year? What about the wide range of subjects offered to children at Purbeck including extensive sports facilities and some fantastic outdoor pursuits? I have no wish for my sons to mix with the same children throughout their entire school years but to broaden their horizons and to meet new people and more importantly, to realise that there is a world beyond the Welcome to Swanage sign.

I would also like to question why Swanage Middle schools headteacher is so publicly behind Education Swanage, surely as an employee of the LEA he should be impartial? No other headteacher that I am aware of is an advocate of this.

Anonymous said...

'I would also like to question why Swanage Middle schools headteacher is so publicly behind Education Swanage, surely as an employee of the LEA he should be impartial? No other headteacher that I am aware of is an advocate of this'

Perhaps its because he thinks its a good idea ! Do you mean that if you are employed by the LEA you are not able to think differently? We live in a democracy, where fortunately we are able to express our views freely.

Encouragingly many parents have signed up their interest for the new school.

Still, we can't all agree can we.

My choice as a parent is to sign my children up for this school because I think it will be a good thing. I respect that the Education Swanage group have researched, and spent a huge amount of time on this. They have the skills to set up a new school. The group includes parents, teachers, school governors, community. They have shared their views and updated Swanage Town Council at public meetings, they have openly encouraged the community to become a part of this.

We may not all agree over the politics of the 'free school', but for Swanage this is the only opportunity. Education Swanage tried their best to work with DCC to set up a split site school, but this option was refused. Not all parents choose to send their children to Purbeck School, many young people are being educated at the Grammar School and Private Schools, but I don't remember hearing any particular complaints about this.

As a parent I am confident that the new Swanage School will be the right thing for my children and for Swanage.

The proof of its success will be in the doing.

Anonymous said...

The main justification put forward for a secondary school here by some of its loudest advocates is that ten miles is too far for 11 year olds to travel. It is a little hard to see how this argument is going to sway parents who send their children even further than this to grammar or private schools. Whatever, it will be interesting to see how many parents are willing to gamble their children's education on the ability of this group to offer a better education than what is currently on offer which they will need to do.

There is an increasing detachment from reality behind some of the remarks in favour. The 1950s science labs for example. The lack of a gym, rooms for the various technologies are further examples. Three form entry will require 15 teaching rooms plus sixth form rooms. The grammar school had 8 classrooms and a single sixth form room so where will it all happen? The WDT plans to hang on to the grounds to put up houses so it cannot expand there.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if the negative responses on this blog are from people living in Swanage, as it seems strange that they would not be supporting a new secondary school in their home town. Most people living in this town, either for a long time, or newly moved here think that it would be great to have a secondary school in Swanage. Both for the young people and for the town.

Some people think of every reason why not to do something new and exciting, whilst others are striving to make things better.

Wonder whether its a pointless exercise debating on this blog as there will always be people who take a negative approach and after a while it really does become tedious and depressing.

Anonymous said...

Well, I live in Swanage and I can't see why the idea of a secondary school here is at all exciting. I think my children benefited more from getting out of Swanage and mixing with a wider group than they lost in terms of being in a large school and traveling.

Anonymous said...

The new school is going to need more firm support in order to get off the ground. People who are prepared to commit. I wonder how many firm enquiries have been registered???


Don't mean to be negative but so far it all sounds like good intentions. Has the government confirmed the money for it?

Anonymous said...

Not sure why you have apologised for being negative.

Anonymous said...

The current Education Swanage newsletter says they intent having a total of 23 forms. There is a swipe about teaching in portacabins to presumably they won't be having any of these. I wonder how they plan to fit the target of 420 pupils into a building which when it was last a school had 14 teaching rooms including science labs, domestic science room etc. There were something like 360 pupils and we were sardined into classes of approaching 40. It is all getting sillier and sillier and Gove is dotty enough to finance it.

Anonymous said...

Where is the swipe about portacabins?

Anonymous said...

Somewhere amid the statements of unexceptionable and pious intentions on their website, facebook or news letter. I wonder how far they have got with getting a majority of the parents of the first two years intake to sign up for a statement of interest. I can't help thinking the Sir Humphries slipped that requirement in to make things difficult.

Anonymous said...

So is it the actual opening of a secondary school in Swanage that you don't like,or that it's a free school?

Anonymous said...

They say that they have sufficient numbers signed up.

Anonymous said...

'Where is the swipe about portacabins?'


I have taught in portacabins that are better than some decrepit classrooms in Victorian buildings. So blind condemnations are pointless.

This is an exciting project but the challenges are enormous. I have started two new schools; I cannot tell you how much effort is required to make them succeed.

Money is often the least of the challenges. Buildings too. It comes down to parent support and parent involvement.

Good luck to them; no one should attack suck good intentions; but get the parents involved or it will not happen.

Anonymous said...

I hope that you didn't teach English!

Learners react to the Teaching conditions, to Teachers, to the Curriculum, to the waxing and waning of the moon .....

Using terms such as 'Portakabin' is pejorative; they can be cold and dirty or lush and equipped with all the necessary doodahs.

What matters is good Teachers who have the right resources, and both those cost.

I very much wonder where all those good Teachers will come from. Swanage is too expensive to attract many ...... will they transplant the Middle School staff?

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase Dr Johnston, the best sight a Swanage child can see is the road to Purbeck School. Swanage is insular and inward looking. A 20 minute bus ride is a small price to pay to achieve some amelioration of this.

The bigger the school the more choices it can offer. Its hard to see how a school of 400 can offer more than a bare minimum.

Every school benefits from the support of parents. Its a truism. I think a better outcome for children can be achieved by those supporting a school for Swanage putting their energy into Purbeck school. No doubt they would not agree.

Anonymous said...

Swanage is insular and inward looking ??

Could you support this with evidence please.

Anonymous said...

'Swanage is insular and inward looking ??

Could you support this with evidence please.'

Surely.

Exhibit A: Swanage Town Council.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, Swanage Town Council has represented its forward thinking community pretty well over the past 2 years. If you don't think your own views are being considered then turn up at the public speaking time and share your ideas.

I am not a Swanage Town councillor.

Anonymous said...

Having experienced a Swanage education and found that it did not compare favourably with the experiences of others in the UK, I am in no doubt that children will benefit significantly from the expertise and facilities avaialable at a larger school (Purbeck). Education is just too important to localise withion a small inward looking type of community.

Anonymous said...

Why did you return to live in a small minded insular community??

Did you visit the big outside world and decide that this is a pretty good place to live afterall?

Anonymous said...

I am not the poster you are sniping at but I returned to Swanage. Yes, it has many good features but on the other hand there are those here whose thowback attitudes are a complete pain in the fundament. They are like "Lost World" survivors flitting round our Victorian and Edwardian street seem oblivious to the present day. The worst thing is the way they think its rest of the world that is out of step rather than them. I realise you find people like that everywhere and to a degree the poor things are simply parroting what they read in those newspapers that pitch themselves at comforting this mentality, however, they are deeply established and thick on the ground here. A cross we have to carry for living here really.

Anonymous said...

As one of the previous posters above who expressed a lack of confidence in Education Swanage and their plans, I have to say that I think it’s a shame that this blog seems to have degenerated into general criticism of Swanage. I’ve lived in the town for 20 years and my wife was born and bred here. We choose to continue living here with our two kids, rather than the metropolis of Poole and Bournemouth, for many reasons and we greatly value the traditional and more relaxed nature of the town. Our opposition to Education Swanage is based simply on the fact that after careful consideration we’ve concluded that our children’s secondary education will be best served by them attending an established and proven school rather than one that is aspirational only. Location is the only factor that on our list of pros and cons Education Swanage has in its favour. But it’s nowhere near enough.

You don’t have to be a supporter of Education Swanage to subscribe to their motto “For our children’s future – For our town’s future”.

Anonymous said...

Well said the last 2 posters. To want a full education provided ouitside of Swanage does not imply any criticism of Swanage. Our children will probably leave the town when they grow up in order to survive financially. Therefore, they need to be equipped with a good education. Many years ago you could attend Swanage schools and then find local employment which did not make big demands in terms of educational qulifications. That is not the case today for many youngsters and they will be more likely to remain on benefits if they have lacked a sound education. By the way, the big bad world outside of Swanage has some benefits too !

Anonymous said...

I've spoken to several Councillors and their view is that, whilst the developer might want 100% market housing in his development, this won't be approved by PDC. The policy of an affordable element will be enforced.

Anonymous said...

surely councillors are not allowed to discuss applications?

Anonymous said...

Correct. The previous comment (posted by me) simply stresses the point that the District Council's planning policy relating to affordable housing is not up for negotiation.

Anonymous said...

How many affordable houses does the building and surrounding land equate to?

Anonymous said...

My understanding of PDC’s affordable housing policy is that the Council will require at least 50% affordable housing provision on all significant greenfield housing developments of 30 or more dwellings.

Anonymous said...

'There is a rumour that they want to swap the old school building for an agreement with PDC that would allow them to cover the rest of the site with market houses (ie no affordable proportion). The so called free school would then use the building. (earlier post).

Cover the rest of the site with housing??

To be clear about the land:

Dorset County Council owned the whole site. DCC sold the Southern half of the land to a private developer.

The North end half of the site was retained by Dorset County Council. It is on a long term lease to Swanage Town Council.

Prior to DCC owning this land, it was owned by James Day/Mowlem.

Anonymous said...

The Welfare Dwellings Trust was one of the bodies which responded to PDC's consultation on planning and if you google assiduously you can find their comments on affordable housing which essentially dismiss the 50% element as setting a level that will prevent development since it will not be profitable. Whether this is true and whether it is a ploy by PDC to avoid large developments coming to fruit is another matter. Recalling the depth of their opposition to the target total for new homes a few years ago it would not be surprising if this was the intention, however, WDT's position is pretty clear.

sbo said...

thank you so much. fosbobetr good Archive

sbobet said...

it's only really 1/3 of the site, for 50 homes, just in the area the school would need for outbuildings, sports and the like.
Would be better tsbo
sbo
o swop (give or take a bit) the land for the two fields owned by STC, with condition of say 50% social housing.
It would be great if the football club site could be redeveloped

sbo said...

nice topic thank you and thumb up !
sbo

bass said...

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sbobet said...

property developer Welfare Dwellings Resbo
sbo
sidential Care Ltd says it will hand over the building if district planners allow construction of up

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