Woolton Woods & Woolton Hall: The pace picks up!

Watch this wedge, sorry space, I said in my blog of  17 August 2014. Well things are happening. A planning application was made for the rebuilding of St Julie’s school (Check council’s website PL/INV/3686/14) on 23rd December 2014. I can’t find a copy of the design online but this shows the effect on the view from the village (http://www.liverpoolexpress.co.uk/public-space-created-st-julies-plan/ )  – the proposed opening of part of the woodland for public use is nice but doesn’t address the key issue. The word is that the mayor wants a start on site in May 2015 in order to help meet his core pledge of 12 new schools in Liverpool.

Nothing wrong with that. A new St Julie’s school would be great. Except that the design is still flawed. It takes 5% of the field between the existing school and the village, coming beyond the existing stone boundary wall. Also, the new buildings would be somewhat higher (four storeys) than the existing buildings. A higher building would be brought forward into the conservation area. The problem is that the design looks as if it is a standard one, taken from statutory guidance and previous projects, and just plonked on the site, instead of a purpose designed solution taking into account the conservation area, grade 1 listed building and the green wedge.  There may be opportunities to use part of the woodland at the rear, where some trees might be dead/diseased for eg car parking. However a full tree survey has not been carried out. I think we should push for a better design.

Coincidentally (?) Woolton Hall has been put up for sale and is on the Savills website ( http://commercialsearch.savills.co.uk/property-detail/3717 ). There is an existing planning consent for a 28 bed care home facility and 62 sheltered flats, 7 on the upper floor of the hall and with the ground floor used as a day care centre. Apparently work had already started under the previous owners so the planning consent may have been activated. This could be an acceptable use for the hall and the site. Handy for the village. Put me down for one of the flats.

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