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'Open mind' over site of former St Augustine of Canterbury School
DEVELOPERS say they have an “open mind” about the future of the former St Augustine of Canterbury School in Taunton.
The school closed in August 2010 and the site has been put on the market, with agents anticipating strong interest – but they do not know what it will become.
Chris Dawson, director at Colliers International, said: “We are keeping an open mind about things. There is a possibility the buildings could remain as they are or they could be demolished and turned into something else.
“The Diocese did make an official notification of demolition but that does not necessarily mean the buildings will be demolished. It was done to cover their backs if it is decided to re-develop the site.”
Site owners, the Anglican Diocese of Bath and Wells and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Clifton, closed the school and Ladymead to form the Taunton Academy.
The Dioceses and Somerset County Council held extensive consultations with Taunton Deane Council around possible future uses for the whole school site, which was allocated for residential-led mixed use in the Core Strategy and Small Sites Consultation 2010.
The latest Council Site Allocations and Development Management Plan Preferred Options consultation allocates the site as “reserved to meet future educational requirements” but the owners have objected to this.
Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne said: “This is a prime site in Taunton and it makes sense to use it properly.
“Some of the space should be dedicated to extra housing and amenities for the community.
“It would be a shame if there was no open area left afterwards so I hope any development also includes an outdoor space for recreation.”
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