‘Bowlee Masterplan’ expected to be thrown out at next week’s cabinet meeting

Date published: 06 March 2018

A ‘masterplan’ for a local community park is expected to be thrown out at the upcoming cabinet meeting on Tuesday (13 March).

Council officers have recommended that the cabinet seeks to withdraw the decision at a previous meeting on 19 December - which excluded press and public - and not continue with a proposed ‘Masterplan’ for Bowlee.

The agenda for December’s cabinet meeting also refers to the ‘Bowlee Masterplan’ with proposals for community use and additional residential development.

During the meeting on 19 December, the cabinet decided:

  • The current wider Bowlee Masterplan proposals for community use and additional residential development be noted.
  • The continued development of the Bowlee Masterplan as part of a wider consultation and engagement with the wider community and stakeholders in order to maximise the potential of the Bowlee site be approved.

However, in light of “significant concerns expressed by local residents”, council officers have now recommended that the cabinet reconsiders the previous decision relating only to the masterplan, noting that the focus should fully fall on the proposed new school.

At the same meeting on 19 December, Rochdale Borough Council signed off plans to release land on Bowlee Community Park for the school, Edgar Wood Academy, to be built by the Altus Education Partnership, who run Rochdale Sixth Form College. This is unaffected by the upcoming cabinet meeting.

For the council to meet its statutory duty to provide sufficient school places, a new secondary school needs to open in the borough in September 2020. Edgar Wood Academy will hold 180 pupils per year with a capacity for 900 pupils between 11 and 16 years of age.

A site for the school had to be decided upon prior to a free school bid by Altus to the Department of Education. Applications for new free school sites must be submitted during set periods of time throughout the year. The next window is expected to open in April.

An information evening about the controversial new school was attended by local residents, parents, businesses and campaign groups at Bowlee on Monday (5 March).

The cabinet meeting takes place at 6.15pm on Tuesday (13 March) at Number One Riverside, Rochdale.

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