A NEW sixth-form block and community hub, estimated to cost about £1.8million, will be built in Wythall after it was given the green light on Monday (September 29).
Members of Bromsgrove District Council’s planning committee unanimously approved the scheme which will be constructed at Woodrush High School.
The hub building will include teaching and meeting space, a social area / cafe, a gym, dance studio and the new Wythall Community Library.
Half of the cash needed for the project will come from the Government’s Education Funding Agency (EFA) with the rest being provided by other organisations, such as Worcestershire County Council which will pay for the library, and the parish council.
The development will now go out to tender and once that has been completed, the land will be cleared and the hub and sixth-form centre built. It is hoped it will be up-and-running by autumn next year.
Speaking after the verdict, Woodrush headteacher Chris King said he was absolutely delighted.
“It will be a fantastic facility, not just for the students, but for the whole of the community.
“We want building work to begin as soon as possible.”
Earlier in the meeting, he had outlined the advantages of the hub, speaking about the need for the new library and more youth provision which had fallen foul of service cuts across the county. He also spoke about the new gym and fitness facilities, saying they would benefit the whole community which could use the equipment out of hours.
On the sixth-form centre, he said: “We currently have 1,100 students and more and more of them want to stay on.”
He pointed out that changes meant all students would have to stay in school until they were 18 and the new sixth-form centre would enable them to remain where they were.
“This year we have had to turn students away who wanted to stay on at Woodrush,” he added.
One local resident – Anthony Jones – who spoke at the meeting said he was in favour of the development but expressed fears on behalf of the residents on Shawhurst Lane about privacy issues that could arise because of the removal of trees from the perimeter of the site.
The planning committee added a condition to the application regarding the trees in the area of concern. It stated the relevant ones which were due to be removed should be replaced by like-for-like species that provided the same level of screening.