Eight years on, College's new site plan approved

Eight years on, College's new site plan approved

PLANS to transform a patch of Dewsbury wasteland into a state-of-the-art learning facility have finally been given the green light. 

Kirklees planning officials gave the go-ahead for the former Safeway site off Commercial Road, Dewsbury, to be a new campus for Kirklees College.

Councillors unanimously voted to allow the college to build their new campus in the town.

Plans have been in the pipeline for eight years. The council bought the land in 2008 for a reported £3m, with the intention of fast-tracking the scheme for the college.

But plans fell through when college chiefs failed to secure the necessary government funding.

The scheme is part of plans to create a ‘Dewsbury Learning Quarter’ in an effort to expand college places in the town. Kirklees College also has plans to move into the nearby Pioneer House, restored by the Council for £2.5m.

College vice-principal Melanie Brooke told the Council’s strategic planning committee that the new premises would “really improve the perception and experience” of hundreds of 16-18-year-old students.

"We hope our project will play a role in the wider regeneration of Dewsbury,” she said.

Dewsbury East councillor Paul Kane described the project as an “exciting development”.

He said: “For so long that piece of land has been left derelict. It’s about time it was regenerated.”

Cleckheaton Lib Dem councillor Andrew Pinnock told the committee it was “an important development” and that Kirklees College had a “brilliant objective of providing a very good learning environment”.

The development will allow around 1,000 students to move from the current campus on Halifax Road.

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