Bid to dispose of former outdoor play area for creation of new Hartlepool free school

Education chiefs in Hartlepool are aiming to dispose of a parcel of land next to a primary as part of the creation of a new free school.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 12:10 pm
Updated Saturday, 18th September 2021, 12:10 pm

Hartlepool Borough Council will apply to the Secretary of State for Education for permission to dispose of the former outdoor play area.

It adjoins but is not used by Golden Flatts Primary School playing fields and was last used by the council’s Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) before it relocated to a site at Brierton in 2014.

The proposed disposal of the land is to allow the development of a new specialist Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Free School, which is earmarked for land off Brenda Road nearby.

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Land that was formerly used as a play area for the council's Pupil Referral Unit adjoining Golden Flatts Primary School. Picture by FRANK REID.

A six week consultation is currently underway on the council’s new Your Say Our Future website.

It states: “The council now intends to dispose of the land in order to facilitate the establishment of the proposed SEND Free School.

"The prospective purchaser intends to develop the land.”

However, it adds the proposed development would require separate planning permission which would involve further consultation.

Hartlepool Borough Council is consulting over the land disposal.

To date no planning application has been made.

A new multi-million pound school for children and young people with social and emotional mental health needs was approved by the Government in 2019 following a successful proposal from Hartlepool Borough Council.

The council says there is currently insufficient SEND provision in the town.

The new free school will be run by specialist provider Spark of Genius which will work closely with the council.

Zak McIlhargey, managing director of Spark of Genius, previously said: “Spark of Genius are honoured to be taking forward this exciting and much-needed new provision.

“As a longstanding provider of education and support for young people with SEMH, we are committed to improving the life chances of every child and family we work with.”

The council says even after the land is disposed of Golden Flatts school will still have almost three times the minimum amount of playing field space recommended by the Department for Education.

Interested parties regarding the land disposal are invited to complete a short online survey by Thursday, October 14, at yoursay.hartlepool.gov.uk/land-disposal-golden-flatts.

Additional comments can be sent to Philip Timmins, Principal Estates Surveyor, Hartlepool Borough Council, Civic Centre, Victoria Road, TS24 8AY, or by emailing: [email protected]

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