Wirral Council apply for permission to sell Rock Ferry High School

Posted: 07/09/2015

Wirral council is seeking permission from the government to sell off Rock Ferry High School to make way for new housing to be built on the land.

Ideas will be presented to cabinet members on 10th September, one of which being transferring the former schools fields to be owned by the community.

There is also a Grade ll listed building known as Ravenswood on the land which the council hopes to keep and restore.

At the start of the year members of the public campaigned against the plans to demolish what they call the “last open space in Rock Ferry”.

According to Wirral Council the site of the former high school is costing a massive £200,000 to maintain and secure.

Councillor Adrian Jones said, “The council recognises the local interest in this site and wants to achieve the best outcome while meeting the aspirations of the local community. We have given a commitment that proceeds from the sale of the land will be re-invested into education and sports projects in the borough.”

Due to the decreasing numbers of pupils attending the school it shut down in April 2011 when it was merged into the University Academy of Birkenhead. Another School, Park High School was also amalgamated which saw the school building located on Park Road South being taken over.

In order to gauge local residents opinions on what should happen to the site numerous community meetings have taken place.

A petition to protect the school building and the land surrounding it was signed by over 2000 people earlier in the year.

According to the council many different possibilities for the area have already been explored one of which being the possibility of creating a University Technical College.

Unfortunately when public body Historic England carried out an assessment of the main building back in 2013 it did not meet all of the criteria required to be awarded listed status.

Altogether the area is valued at £7.6million with the buildings and adjoining fields having a value of £4.1million with an additional 3.5million for the playing fields which separate to the main site.

Residents had originally formed a campaign group known as Save Rock Ferry High School Woodlands but has now split with some supporters choosing to break away to instead set up the Rock Ferry High Residents’ Association.

This campaign group is instead focusing on how they could fund, manage and maintain the fields if they get reassigned to community ownership.

What do you think should happen to the site? Do you think preserving the buildings and fields are worth the cost?

If you would like to help prevent the selling and demolition of the buildings and fields at the site click here to sign the petition.

Kirsty Rogers, Pali Ltd 

www.paliltd.com

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