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of the news: “The sale of the land for housing was always absolutely central to our plans to redevelop our desperately outdated school and campus because we were not able to raise all the funds ourselves and despite our best efforts, we couldn’t secure the funds from anywhere else.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.

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