The Executive Director of Neighbourhoods and Communities submitted a report that recommended transfering Netherfields Community Centre to Priory Woods School.
Netherfields Community Centre was identified as being surplus to Council requirements under the Councils Community Buildings Review, 2011/12, and was identified as a cost rationalisation as part of the 2013/14 Budget endorsed by the Council. As a result, alternative options for the future of the building had been considered, including community asset transfer (CAT).
An approach had subsequently been received from Priory Woods School to utilise the centre as an extension to their existing facilities to enable an increased intake of pupils.
The next steps if approved, the school would require immediate access to the Netherfields Community Centre to begin the necessary renovations to ensure the building was available for September 2014. The timescales were tight but it was believed that it was deliverable. Discussions would continue with the community to facilitate community use, and if any current community users could not be accommodated within the building, assistance with relocation to a nearby alternative community facility would be provided.
In line with Government guidance, the school was required to undertake a statutory consultation over the enlargement of the school and the use of the community centre as additional space. This process had begun.
The report outlined in further detail that there were two Options available:
Option 1 - Do not approve the use of Netherfield Community Centre to facilitate an extension to Priory Woods School.
Option 2 - Approve the use of the Netherfield Community Centre to facilitate an extension to Priory Woods School (Preferred Option).
During the meeting Councillor Peter Cox expressed his concerned and requested that Opion 1 outlined within the report be approved by the Panel.
That the use of Netherfields Community Centre to facilitate an extension to Priory Woods School be approved; and
That Priory Woods School is encouraged to work with the local community to accommodate their aspirations wherever possible.
The decisions were supported by the following reason:
This would provide the building with an appropriate use, and a sustainable future, as well as helping to ensure that there are sufficient places for children to attend Priory Woods from September 2014. The opportunity to potentially accommodate community activity within the wider facility, would also mitigate the loss of some of the existing provision.