The council is authorised under the Local Government Act 1972 to consider and change the purpose for which land is held by the authority. This process is known as ‘appropriation’ and it relates to the council’s legal duties as the landowner of these pieces of land. It is separate to any decisions relating to planning. The sites in question were formerly held as open space.
The appropriation at Brookfield Walk will allow the land to be used for the development of a school for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Land at The Uplands will be used for residential development, following planning approval for 52 high quality, sustainable homes.
Public responses on the proposals were received earlier in the year following the placement of notices in local newspapers. These were considered in full by the Executive Member.
The reports on the decisions comment that the council acknowledges the importance of the sites to local residents and did not take the decision to appropriate lightly. However on balance it was felt that the loss of these spaces could be justified because of the benefits to the wider community of the provision of a new school and housing.