Bramhall High School could get a ‘state-of-the-art’ rebuild as part of plans that would also see hundreds of new homes built on a 106-acre green belt site.
Property firm HIMOR wants to transform land at Dairyground Farm and hopes it will be included in the next version of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) – the region’s 20-year development plan.
The masterplan is currently on ice, but its two previous incarnations met with a huge public backlash – largely over the proposed loss of much-loved green spaces.
But the site – around 40 pc of which is previously developed – sits on the fringes of Bramhall, and HIMOR claims it would form a ‘logical urban extension’ to the affluent Stockport village.
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The developer says that a ‘significant proportion’ of the new properties would be affordable or starter homes.
And bosses argue that unmet housing need means ‘a comprehensive green belt review is both necessary and long overdue’ – and are pressing for the land to be released when the GMSF resurfaces.
Ambitious proposals for the plot – officially known as land at Seal Road and Lytham Drive – also include a revamped leisure centre, a retirement home and a new local shop and community/police building.
Better roads, improved walking and cycling links- including to the Happy Valley nature reserve – and new open space are among the further benefits being touted.
But the creation of a ‘modern, high quality learning facility’ within the school’s existing grounds is central to the proposals – and has the full backing of the school.
Headteacher Lynne Fox said: “The governors at Bramhall High school are in full support of the proposals being prepared in consultation with HIMOR.
“The improvements at Bramhall have been stunning over the last four years and this presents an exciting opportunity for us to offer students a school building suitable for learning in the 21st century to enhance their personal educational experience.
“The development of additional housing in close proximity also furthers our ambition for Bramhall to be a school that serves its local community well.”
The land has not previously been included in the GMSF but HIMOR submitted a ‘vision’ document to Stockport council following a ‘call for sites’ earlier this year.
It states: “The masterplan proposals for the Seal Road and Lytham Drive site offers an excellent opportunity to redevelop the Bramhall High School estate.
“Extremely positive consultation with the school and its leadership has taken place, who are in full support of the development as proposed.
“We will continue to work closely with both the school and community to ensure the proposed development at Seal Road and Lytham Drive contributes to a safe, de-congested and more sustainable neighbourhood.”
It adds that the new three-storey school would remain ‘at the heart of the community’ and would be connected to a revamped Life Leisure sports facility ‘to provide a secure campus for all users’.
A new floodlit 4G pitch would also be installed for the use of pupils and the wider community’.
A planning application is yet to be submitted and HIMOR says that, at this stage, its only intention is to continue promoting the site for inclusion in the new GMSF.
As part of that process the developer says it will continue to liaise with the school, Stockport council and the combined authority.
However, Coun Colin Foster – cabinet member for children, family services and education – told a recent town hall meeting the land would have to be put out to tender, even if it were to be included for development in the new GMSF.