East Dunbartonshire Schools PPP Project
Planning advice was provided by John to InspirED during the process leading to achievement of planning permission for the redevelopment of six schools in East Dunbartonshire.
The proposals involved providing five new schools within the sites of existing schools, with land made surplus following demolition of the original buildings being disposed of by the Council to contribute funding of the package. A sixth school was proposed on a newly-acquired site which had previously been in further education use.
The package was highly controversial because the increased capacity of the new schools would impose greater pedestrian and vehicle traffic on the surrounding residential communities, and as the new sports and recreation facilities will be more efficiently used than at present (and therefore reduced overall in number). There was also objection to the sale of surplus land for housing.
Advice was given in preparing the planning application packages by advising on issues and appropriate technical studies, managing the process to approval, providing a planning justification for each school project, leading fast-track negotiations with East Dunbartonshire Council’s planning service (establishing a regular programme of liaison meetings), negotiating draft planning conditions prior to committee presentation, participating in community consultation events, and leading the presentation of the proposals to the Council’s planning committee hearing.
All applications were approved within the required timescale.
South Lanarkshire Schools PPP Project
Planning advice was provided during the process leading to achievement of planning permission for the redevelopment of Uddingston Grammar School and post-approval planning advice for other schools in the package.
The first instruction concerned difficulties in obtaining planning permission for Uddingston Grammar School relating to issues concerning traffic, flooding and compensatory playing field provision.
The client was advised how to resolve policy and other issues such as compensatory storage provision for floodwater, parents and buses waiting facilities and their design and management.
Negotiations were led for compensatory playing fields lost due to location of the new school complex.
There was also a high degree of local opposition which led to a planning committee hearing at which we led the developer’s case.
Assistance was then given to the client in resolving difficulties experienced in gaining approval of conditions and public footway closures at Lanark Grammar. This included managing the process to approval in a situation of very tight timescales, leading the client team at the council planning committee hearing, and responding to questions from councillors and local residents
At Strathaven Academy and Biggar High School, we led negotiations regarding conditions related to parking, the design of floodwater storage, traffic generation and design.