95% of Woolton Woods field to remain intact as a result of new build

The headteacher of a Merseyside Catholic girls’ school this week moved to reassure residents that only a small amount of green space will be used if rebuild plans are approved.

Under Liverpool council proposals, St Julie’s Catholic High School in Woolton village, will be demolished and rebuilt by autumn 2016.

But the plans sparked controversy because the new school building will encroach on a public field adjoining the historic Woolton Woods.

Headteacher Tim Alderman said:

“Only a very small amount of green space will be affected by this. We are not cutting down the forest. The proposal is to extend our boundary into the field. It will not stop people continuing to use and enjoy the field.”

The proposals – due before a city planning committee in March – are to build a new school made up of three pavilions, each linked by glass walkways.

An illustrative diagram of one of the options for the proposed St Julie’s High School on a new site in Woolton. The area marked MUGA would be a multi-use games area. The yellow arrow indicates vehicular access into the site that has not changed.

It would include a dance studio, gymnastics suite, chapel, performing arts theatre and astro-turf sports pitches.

Mr Alderman said the new school, if granted planning permission, would only encroach on 5% of the field, which is open to the public and also used by pupils to play sports.

Mr Alderman said:

“The new building will be a huge improvement, it will look fantastic.

“If planning permission is granted, the contractors will come on site in June and we would move into the new building for September 2016.

“Our pupils deserve a 21st century learning environment because our current buildings were built in the 1960s and need to be replaced.”

The Save Woolton Woods campaign group was formed after Mayor Joe Anderson unveiled the plans and 6,000 people signed a petition against development.

But Mr Alderman said there was no risk to the woods from these plans. He said:

“Of course nobody wants building in the woods – and neither do we. I want to make it clear that we are not cutting down the woods. In fact the Trustees, who own a large part of Woolton Woods have offered to open up the privately owned woodland to the community for public use, the size of which is far in excess off any being used under these proposals. This shows the schools commitment to engaging with and listening to the community.

“These plans only affect a small part of the field. It’s important to re-iterate that 95% of Woolton Woods field will remain intact as a result of the new build. We are a community-focussed school as proven by our ongoing engagement in community activities over many years.”

The new school project is part of the Liverpool Schools Investment Programme, which will see at least 12 new schools built across the city.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:

“This scheme will deliver a fantastic new school for the area, benefiting hundreds of families who live in and around Woolton, as well as the wider community.

“We have listened to local people who have made constructive suggestions over how to compensate for the loss of open space while still delivering the much needed new school.

“This is an exciting opportunity to develop a new piece of public space which can be used by the whole community, and means that there will actually be an increase in the amount of land available for use by local people.”

Image Credit

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.