One of the ideas we have pursued in connection with trying to save the former Newland Avenue Primary School as a community asset is in relation to the sale of the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA Pitch).
During this attempt to find out the legal position in relation to the sale of MUGA I pursued a comment from Councillor Gwen Lunn in relation to an official of the council who is involved in the sale called John Hames. I asked for a meeting with Mr John Hames to try and understand why there had been no consultation with the public about the sale of the school despite what appears to be the council’s own policy. The upshot is that we now have some more information about various issues:
The main points are:
- The MUGA All Weather Sports Pitch at the back of the school is not included with the current sale in order to avoid having to seek legal approval from Sports England. From August 2016 it will 10 years since the school closed at which point legal permission to sell the field will not be needed. It is not clear why this has not been made public before.
- The decision to sell council assets including land or proper is not subject to any form of consultation with the public.
- The developer is considering holding a public information event but no date has been set. Whether this will amount to a public consultation remains to be seen.
- The developer is intending to submit a pre-planning application but it has not been received by the council.
I have highlighted key statements from the correspondence here and uploaded a file of the correspondence which can be accessed here or in the list of files. It is worth reading through the emails to discover how we came to be made aware of this information. At times it feels like we are being fed crumbs from the table. Thanks to Mike Ross, local councillor, for his help in finding out what is happening.
“We have not yet seen the start of the planning process in respect of the purchaser’s proposals for Newland Buildings. I understand that the purchaser’s intention is to submit a pre-app in the near future but I have no date for this.
I do know that the purchaser is considering holding a public information event prior to the application being heard…….
……..It is not the case that disposals of property warrant consultation with the general public. The democratic process is that decisions on disposals of corporate properties are taken by elected members and/or in accordance with such scheme of delegations which have been approved by the Council. As you know, the disposal of Newland Buildings is supported by a cabinet decision which has been reaffirmed on more than one occasion.” John Hames – Hull City Council.
Details of the correspondence here: