Winstanley College secures planning for £30m extension

Michael Hunt

Winstanley College has secured planning permission for the comprehensive redevelopment of its campus on the outskirts of Wigan.

Plans include a new 136,000 sq ft building for learning resources as part of a £30m project to transform the site.

Extensive pre-application consultation with Wigan Council and other key stakeholders such as Sport England has been ongoing since late 2007.

Public consultation exhibitions for the local community were also undertaken in March and September last year to gain the view of local residents.

These negotiations resulted in no objections being made to the application, despite it being situated in the green belt of land.

Approval was given by the council under officer-delegated powers rather than by planning committee.

Andrew Thompson, from advising agents GVA Grimley, commented: "In accordance with the Learning & Skills Council's objective to building 'world class buildings', the new campus will be built to the highest level of sustainability. It will aspire to meet the Breeam 'excellent' standard and would be the first development in the borough of Wigan to achieve this status.

"GVA Grimley has worked very closely with Wigan Council and the community to address the key issues on this sensitive site and we are delighted permission has been achieved. We are hopeful that construction can start soon and that the new building will be open in September 2011."

Tim Brown, associate director for architects Broadway Malyan, added: "We knew that achieving planning permission for the development on the site would be challenging, our design proposals recognised this by locating the new college on the only part of the existing site that could be developed. We worked closely with the college to ensure that the development could be built with the minimum of disruption to the existing buildings and to ensure that the new college responded to the brief to provide first class educational facilities for the students in what will be an exciting and distinctive building."

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