Posted by Chris
Glynis and I attended a briefing tonight at Redcar & Cleveland College about the proposed redevelopment of the further education college.
We went expecting to see a rehash of the plans we saw last year to modernise and extend the existing buildings.
Instead we were treated to a 3D concept presentation of a proposed brand new, £24m, state of the art college. Gary Groom, the new Principal, explained that it was not practical to carry out the works on the existing footprint and they propose to site the new building closer to the Locke Park end of the site, on the sports field. The existing building would then be demolished and a new sports field, placed on that site.
Provided the necessary planning permission and funding arrangements are in place, work could start on site in the autumn with completion in 2008. Funding comes partly from the sale of the Connections Campus in Redcar Lane, some borrowing with the remainder hopefully from Government funding via the Learning & Skills Council.
Access would be from Corporation Road and no longer will heavy goods vehicles have to access the site from Sandringham Road and Buckingham Road.
The new building proposal, which is yet to be submitted for final planning permission includes an impressive atrium, increased car parking, a boulevard of trees along Corporation Road, a peace garden, featuring the war memorial on the corner of Corporation Road and Locke Road, landscaping, ample room for deliveries, a coach dropping off point within the College grounds and alterations to the platform of Redcar Station to allow students direct access to the college. We will post a plan as soon as possible.
One thing which we both noticed, during the briefing with local residents, was the constructive questions that people asked. Amongst the concerns raised were the following:
Is there adequate parking? - assurances were given that this was in line with building guidelines.
Will the practice of coaches stopping in Corporation Road be discouraged? - A dropping off point is provided on site plus the roads and turning points would be adequate for a large articulated vehicle.
Other points raised, that were taken on board for further consideration, included - some form of renewable energy plant, whether the Peace Garden might be used by youths as a gathering place, the possibility of additional trees, the need for a barrier on the road access point at night time, whether or not the football pitches would be floodlit, the form of lighting used around the college, the type of fencing along Sandringham Road if any, start times during construction, the cycle track and traffic problems in Corporation Road.
Having attended a number of meetings in the Borough recently, that have been totally disrupted by one or two negative individuals, who continuously trot out silly allegations and nonsense conspiracy theories one after the other, preventing any sensible discussion, it was delightful to listen to our own Ward residents providing such constructive and positive contributions.