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Future use of Burnholme Community College site to be debated
A YORK secondary school could be turned into housing, a health centre or a community base after it closes next year.
Burnholme Community College will shut next July because of falling pupil numbers, and city leaders will next week be asked to approve a community consultation over the site’s future.
A report by officials, which will go before City of York Council’s cabinet, said selling the 16.8-acre site for a 110-home development would fetch an estimated £3.4 million, but its community use would be lost and services currently based there would have to move.
A health and wellbeing hub, which would be partly new and partly in refurbished buildings, was the highest-scoring option in a review of the site’s potential use.
Other possibilities are a completely new health facility, needing “significant” additional funding, and small-scale community use, which the report said would cost the council at least £170,000 a year and had grave doubt over its long-term viability.
Parents and community groups raised fears about the future of community facilities at Burnholme when its closure was confirmed last year, after the council said the school had become too expensive to run. A decision on the site is expected early next year. The council said organisations including sports clubs, libraries, pharmacies and groups which already use it had shown an interest.
Coun Dafydd Williams, the council’s cabinet member for finance, performance and customer service, said: “We remain committed to working with the local community to ensure all potential ideas and options are explored.
“Burnholme Community College played an important role in the lives of the community, and through this process we want to ensure this site continues to play a central role.”
The report said selling the site for housing would have a detrimental impact through loss of community facilities, and further action would be needed to make a health or community base viable.
This could include the council providing the land for development free of charge, using financial contributions from the developers of the Derwenthorpe housing scheme towards sports facilities, or selling a portion of Burnholme’s ten acres of green space for housing.
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