Seashell TRust School 2

Seashell sells land to fund special needs school

The Seashell Trust has agreed the sale of land in Cheadle Hulme to housebuilder Bloor Homes, part of a £45m scheme at its Stanley Road site which was approved by the Secretary of State in April.

The Trust last month secured planning permission for a new school, campus and 325 homes, following an appeal to the Secretary of State when the proposals were rejected by Stockport Council.

Consent was granted despite the Secretary of State’s recognition that the proposed residential development would cause harm to the Green Belt, as noted in a previous inspector’s report. ­

But the secretary concluded that the local need for the scheme outweighed the harm it could cause.

Seashell Trust provides specialist care to children and young people with autism, deafness, blindness, and other physical and learning disabilities.

Bloor Homes will now buy a piece of land at the site owned by the Trust and develop the houses.

Seashell said the land sale would allow the trust to press ahead with its plans for the redevelopment of the school and campus, for their children and young people with special needs.

The development includes sporting facilities which will be shared with the local community.

Jolanta McCall, Seashell chief executive and principal, said of the news: “The sale of the land for housing was always absolutely central to our plans to redevelop our desperately outdated school and campus because we were not able to raise all the funds ourselves and despite our best efforts, we couldn’t secure the funds from anywhere else. This sale allows us to start work on our exciting transformation project and offers a bright future for our children and young people.

“It is, however, important to stress that today’s news is not the end of the story. We still need to raise a further £12m for the transformation project to deliver the school and campus our community needs and deserves.”

Rhys Nicholson, regional managing director of Bloor Homes said: “This land acquisition is great news for Bloor Homes and we are delighted to be associated with such a worthy project as the Trust’s essential redevelopment. Cheadle Hulme is a highly desirable residential area and a natural fit for Bloor Homes’ expanding portfolio of high-quality family homes in first rate locations.

“We will be working closely with the community and Stockport Council to agree the detail of the scheme and to press on with the delivery of these important new homes as quickly as possible.”

Bloor Homes is expected to be consulting on the details of the plans in the coming weeks.

NJL Consulting advised The Seashell Trust on its planning application.

Your Comments

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I am so pleased. In a previous life my clients and I tried to promote and help this scheme. The work that Seashell Trust does is amazing, and heartbreaking.

By DPM

More green belt lost

By Harry

And the head of the trust needs a nice new house on site!!! I’d love to see the wages bill. Charity really does begin at home!!! The local people I’m sure will remember your work.

By Darren

It’s already gridlock in the area. Unfortunately additional homes will make it worse and affect the quality of life for people already living in the vicinity. We need housing but building on the little remaining greenbelt in already heavily populated areas is not the answer. There are so many other sites that could and should be redeveloped first. It’s a shame the positive effect the scheme will have on the school will be to the detriment to everybody living near it.

By Tom

The land is not Cheadle Hulme its Heald Green

By Anonymous

The land maybe green belt but what does it do it’s not used for anything other than cattle i know cattle are important but so is the seashell trust and local housing if all goes well it should be good for the local community?

By Steve

Sold the land and still want more money , do one !!

By Sam

Where will the line be ever drawn, losing so much green belt land to the fat greedy developers, shame on seashell trust, they will always be crying out for funding, people are wanting to move out of Healdgreen not in it, sad to say it has lost its soul. How many schools are they to build one I hear , well have you not heard that junior school leavers will have to travel miles out of there area due to feeder schools being over populated in the coming years, bot enough doctors dentist and drained hospitals that can not cope with demand as it is .

By Anonymous

To avoid losing green belt, build more high rise apartments. You will save the green belt but still have something to object to. Kills two birds with one stone really.

By Anti-moan

NJL advised Seashell on the planning application, doesn’t say who advised on the land deal?

By Curious

In reply to Steve ‘The land maybe green belt but what does it do it’s not used for anything’. It doesn’t need to be, the fact it is green and not built up is sufficient. The extra 325 homes will bring an extra 500+ cars to the already strained roads and services. 500+ cars of additional air pollution with associated strain on over subscribed services. Wilmslow road through Heald Green frequently gets congested as does the A34 from John Lewis to Gatley. This will exacerbate the issue.

By Tom

In reply to Steve –
The National Planning Policy Framework explains what green belt is ‘for’ and why it is protected.
134. Green Belt serves 5 purposes:
(a) to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas;
(b) to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another;
(c) to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment;
(d) to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; and
(e) to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.
The Seashell Trust had their Transforming Lives up and running and half way through their £20m project before developers realised a charity (99% funded by LA’s) offered a unique route to unlocking those protections…”for the children”. From that point, the project then escalated to over £70m ‘forcing the sale of the green belt’ with the Trust’s advisors now claiming (but later retracting due to…you know…evidence) that they would close down without this money. During the Inquiry they claimed this was not a business expansion but the absolute minimum cost required and they were just a bit wrong with their initial numbers. They were unable to answer why they also included an £8m p.a. increase in their projected turnover. Facts eh?

By Heald Green

This is very welcome. We need more housing on sites like this

By Heald Green Resident

“Heald Green Resident” are you mad I have lived in the area for over 40 years and seen its demise.
I am all for progress but combined with whats going on within a 4 miles radius we don’t have a chance of improving already transport chaos, or retaining our suburban status, tripling carbon emission, green belt once its gone its gone. Where are all these people coming from! ?

Anyone tried driving into Congleton recently from the old A34, thought I was lost or missed a turning into Crewe! This what greedy developers do retreat to their gated mansions surrounded by green belt!!.

By CBA

Why is it obvious that respondents to this feature who say they are from the area are blatantly not “Heald Green Resident”!

By CBA

If the agents, developers, barristers, solicitors and other assorted experts that crammed this through refunded their fees to the Seashell Trust that would cover most of the £12million shortfall. C’mon guys and girls…you kept saying ‘it’s for the kids’, now’s your chance to step up.

By Heald Green

Brilliant, even more flooding all over Heald Green and Cheadle Hulme once this soak away land is built on.

By Nicola