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Old June 10th, 2009, 06:36 PM   #41
jay_90_08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaloo View Post
There could also be a bit of dissonance between St Margarets and Arch B. I know they're both CofE schools but I think St Marg's sees itself as, what's the word, 'different' from Arch B and might not see sharing a facility with that school as, erm, 'appropriate'!
the people incharge at ST Margarets have no problem with the Archies lot!
we shared our sixth form prom with them last year.
Also we were told that the plan was for st Margarets and Archbishop Blanch to move in to a new school that would be built on the current playing fields and then where the current school is would be flattened and turned into playing fields, so essentially swap
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Old June 11th, 2009, 12:22 AM   #42
Joe the red
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It does seem a hell of a move, geographically speaking, to move an Aigburth school to Edge Lane. Also, can you imagine what two school runs would do to rush hour traffic on Edge Lane? I'm presuming that they could approach the school from various entry points. Isnt there a route from Wavertree? I can't remember.
Although the school is currently based in Aigburth, it is the only Liverpool secondary C of E school that has an intake of boys and so a more central location, especially if it were fit for the 21st century, would not be a bad idea.

I think St Marg's and AB share a similar religious ethos and have links especially at 6th form level, whilst St Hilda's has a subtly differing religious outlook. But bearing in mind education is the primary responsibility of these organisations, subtle differences should be able to be overcome.

Babs, to my almost certain knowledge, the Bluecoat has had substantial new building done in recent years so would not make great sense to move to such a site at this stage.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 12:13 PM   #43
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I wasn't thinking in terms of the Bluecoat moving from their current site, more Bluecoat 2 at the Edge Hill site! That school is so shit hot at the moment with 100% of pupils achieving at least 5 GCSEs at Grades A - C (including maths and English) and over 80% gaining a foreign language GCSE at these grades, too.

I'm sure it could attract pupils to a new wing - of course this doesn't resolve the problems of needing to renovate existing schools! Maybe Arch B and St Marg's can share a site in Aigburth. Maybe St Hilda's can be incorporated into the Belvedere School - the best girls school in the city? It's only a short walk away down Ullet Road.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 10:18 PM   #44
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I went to St Margarets and made several personal attempts to merge with St Hildas (especially one called Christine ) and all I got was a slapped face. Never tried to do it in Edge Lane mind.

Seems a waste of a true iconic site for a school - it should be one side of a new ground for Everton.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 11:16 AM   #45
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Quote:
Planners back plans to build schools in Liverpool Littlewoods building despite business fears

Jun 17 2009 by Ben Turner, TMNW

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build two highs schools within Liverpool’s iconic Littlewoods building have been backed despite a scathing attack from a city business.

The iconic art deco building, within Edge Lane’s new Innovation Park, was built by the Pools firm’s founders in 1938, but has sat empty for years.

But yesterday planners authorised outline planning permission for the construction of two schools within the building – after hearing that Liverpool Council will ensure historical features including its distinctive clock tower are retained.

The approval – which paves the way for two Church of England secondaries – Aigburth’s St Margaret’s and city-centre Archbishop Blanch to co-locate at the site – came despite heavy criticism from city builders and shopfitters W Braithwaite and Son, which employs 100 staff on the Botanic Estate adjacent to the Littlewoods building.

The council has championed the £45m building project as a way to boost the overall regeneration of the area and dovetail the schools’ technology specialisms.

But yesterday fears were voiced the proposal would actually hamper growth and “ be a deterrent to new development”. As well as major fears over access and traffic congestion, Braithwaite bosses believe housing schools on a prime business site is simply “inappropriate.”

The company’s concerns to the planning committee were outlined by their representative, Edward Landor, who said the council had failed to “provide any robust evidence to demonstrate that this site should not be retained for employment purposes”.

He said it was “inconceivable that the planning system should endorse a proposal which will result in the ‘daily school run’ conflicting with business access.” Urging planners to reject the application, he added: “The site is unsuitable for use for educational purposes. It has been developed in order to attract major new employment investment to the Liverpool city region. In the setting of the current economic and financial climate, this proposal represents an under utilisation of a key employment site and should be resisted.”

But backing the application, the planning committee concluded the “overriding” benefit was to “support something that provides for educational use”. The committee also stressed access and issues of transport would be dealt with at detailed planning level.

Although the Innovation Park move is backed by the Diocese, governors at St Margaret’s say they “cannot support a move to Edge Lane” – preferring the two schools’ home to be on the Aigburth site.

The application was one of four approved by the committee, and although nothing is “a done deal” the council had stressed planning permission was needed in order to submit water-tight plans before the government next month.

Assistant education director, Tim Warren said yesterday’s authorisation “paves the way” for a £500m transformation of the city’s secondary schools “the biggest single investment of its kind in the city.”
I think this article raises a number of interesting points and concerns. Why is the overriding benefit of this building such that it should support educational use? Have all other possibilities really been exhausted? Is it sensible for the council to talk up these proposals when one of the schools has made it clear that it isn't interested - doesn't exactly model a constructive dialogue going on between the council and the school. How much pressure are the owners (NWDA) applying? How does this fit in with the Edge Lane Gateway - you know that marvel that was going to bring all kinds of mixed development to this area, encouraging new businesses that generate wealth etc?
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Old June 17th, 2009, 11:23 AM   #46
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This is one of the weirdest and wrongest ideas we've yet seen. The city's premier business park we were told, now to be the location for two large secondary schools.

And on the main road into the city from the motorway. Great for kiddies! Splat. And they are otherwise trying to keep clear Edge Lane clear for improved access to the city centre. Two schools' school runs is really going to help in this.

It's so crass and barely believable you, like Babs, can only see the hand of the local purse-string holders, the NWDA, on this. Only they have the financial power to blackmail the dumn-ass council into as crazy and counter-productive scheme as this one.

Last edited by Awayo; June 17th, 2009 at 11:28 AM.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #47
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I don't see how the council was blackmailed into this Awayo.

Kensington and Edge Hill are one of the city's key areas for regeneration and (whether you agree with Housing Market Renewal or not) one of the best ways to make an area desirable to live in is to plant a good secondary school in that community.

There isn't much suitable land in Aigburth for the school to relocate anyway and this was probably the best and last opportunity to save the Littlewoods building, since English Heritage refuse to list it.

There will be no access to the school from Edge Lane, so any kids being dropped off by their parents will have to be dropped off on Innovation Boulevard (stupid name) and if you are ever around Archbishop Blanche at 3pm you will see several school busses waiting to take kids home but very few parents. I don't know what St Margaret's are like.

The school would also be within walking distance of several cross city bus routes and Wavertree Technology Park and Edge Hill Stations, as well as a potential Edge Lane Station if the Bootle Branch Line does get re-opened for passengers.

It's not in the middle of the tech park, it's alongside Botanic Park, which already has very good sports facilities, and there is still vast amounts of industrial land available to keen the tech park growing for decades.

I have not been a fan of Liverpool's school rebuilding programme, as too often the city has been blackmailed into replacing solid old school buildings that just needed refurbishing, because government money is only available for shiny new schools rather than refurbishment. But this one ticks so many boxes that I am really looking forward to seeing it built.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 06:47 PM   #48
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"one of the best ways to make an area desirable to live in is to plant a good secondary school in that community."

I hadnt thought of that Edgehill. Good point.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 02:45 PM   #49
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If it's a relevant point here it's surprising that no one thought of it beforehand.

What I want to know is:

Why isn't this building listed?

What is NWDA up to? What has it been doing with this building since Urban Splash all but imploded?

What other options have been canvassed?

What are the long term gains/costs of turning this building into a secondary school?

It just doesn't hold together in a joined-up way. It's planning on the back of a Subway napkin. It's very worrying and illustrates once again that all the voodoo dolls are in NWDA's hands and NWDA and LCC speak as one.

The nearest school to me creates a dead zone around it. The fact that it has automated shutters on the windows doesn't help much either. I thought the idea was to make this part of town buzz. This is (potentially) one of the buzziest buildings in Liverpool. It's wasted on a school. Sure if it was a choice of a school or demolition then I know which way I'd vote but if that ever became the only choice that was on the table I would have even more serious concerns about the calibre of the current administration than I have now.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 03:50 PM   #50
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Couldn't agree more with that. I went past yesterday and tried to picture it's use as a school and just couldn't do it. Also the vast entrance and new signage from Edge Lane for 'Liverpool INNOVATION Park' is frankly embarrassing. Immediately behind this sign is nothing but dereliction and wasteland and gives an impression of the complete opposite of innovation. Another classic example of the first impressions this stretch of road gives off to visitors.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 05:02 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaloo View Post
What I want to know is:
Why isn't this building listed?
I believe the Council did want to see it listed. English Heritage said no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaloo View Post
What is NWDA up to? What has it been doing with this building since Urban Splash all but imploded?
Who knows! Can anyone say what the NWDA actually do anywhere in Liverpool?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaloo View Post
This is (potentially) one of the buzziest buildings in Liverpool. It's wasted on a school. Sure if it was a choice of a school or demolition then I know which way I'd vote but if that ever became the only choice that was on the table I would have even more serious concerns about the calibre of the current administration than I have now.
Just look at the deteriorating state of the building at the moment. I doubt it will survive another 5-10 years, which is what it will take before the private sector can raise the finance and have an end market for a commercial development - probably flats and a hotel again!

The only game in town at the moment is for a public sector project, which means an education use (or perhaps a hospital if the Royal & Alder Hey were not already committed to their rebuild programmes).

Normally this forum is abuzz with ideas and concept drawings for key sites in the city, I haven't seen anything like this for the Littlewoods building, which makes me think that none of us are bursting with ideas for the site (or at least none that can be realisticly financed in the near future).

Perhaps I misunderstood you Babs, but why is it a waste to give the city's kids an iconic school building. It seems that it's that sort of attitude that gives us the dreadful school buildings that are now being put up arround the city.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 01:47 PM   #52
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There are plenty of appropriate uses for this building from a hotbed of design/technology/whatever companies to an hotel-spa complex, whatever. It's not that expensive to protect a building from deteriorating further - just don't have any part of the interior exposed to the elements, maintain the roof and windows and try and keep opportunistic buddleia and sycamore growth (on the building itself) to a minimum.

The non-listing of such an obviously listable building by a government department owned by another government department is a cause for concern (buildings are not listed or are delisted in order to facilitate maximum commercial advantage - kind of defeats the purpose of having building listed in the first place).

I haven't heard any gossip about this building being up for grabs. It appears the NWDA and LCC have an agreement about what use it should be turned to (in the context of LCC receiving X amount of government money to refurbish existing schools). I'm just a bit preturbed by the lack of process skills displayed when a school is nominated for a building it has made it perfectly clear that it won't be going.

It suggest that not knowing where something is going is par for the course on a much wider level (NWDA/LCC).
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 03:29 PM   #53
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English Heritage said it wasn't of sufficient architectural merit to deserve listing, there has already been much debate about EH's attitude to Liverpool, so there is not much benefit in repeating it.

Yes it doesn't cost that much (in relative terms) to stop a building deteriorating, but if it's not listed and there is no identified scheme for the building then I can't see the NWDA bothering to spend money on it. They will just let it deteriorate until they can say that it's past saving.

There was a well publicised tender for the building's redevelopment, which Urban Splash won. It was equally well publicised when the Urban Splash scheme fell through. Clearly it was well known that it was available for development again, and I'm sure the NWDA went back to the original bidders to see if any of them where still interested. Clearly they where not.

I still don't see what is the problem with the city's kids being taught in an iconic landmark building. I am not arguing that architecture is the number 1 factor, but the fact that Parklands Secondary School in Speke looks like a B&Q retail shed, surely doesn't provide the most inspirational education environment.

Yes St Margaret's are against the idea, but Archbishop Blanch are happy with the move and could fill the site themselves. I believe St Hilda's are also interested if St Margaret's don't take up the offer.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 12:58 PM   #54
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One person from English Heritage made the decision that it wasn't worth listing against idiosyncratic criteria in the context of being a government employee making a decision about a building owned by the government. The decision not to list the Littlewoods building doesn't withstand close scrutiny. EH has a poor record of protecting public buildings in Liverpool and is seen by some as being in cahoots with both LCC in terms of removing hurdles to development by NOT listing buildings - the debacle over JBH can be seen as an example of this.

You say that NWDA went back to original tenders for this site - where is your evidence for this?

I think the concern is more about headless chickens running assorted departments within LCC. If you read the plan for this area, a secondary school was not part of it and now it is - why?

What happened to the innovation park? Don't tell me: 'Don't you know, the children are our future. la la la, do-da, do-de-oh' Maybe when the council spoke about an innovation park it was 'innovation' in the context of the kids who will go to Littlewoods Academy will be the innovators of the future?

Joking apart, I would be more reassured if the thinking behind this switch in purpose was made public. Also, my understanding is that St Hilda's is NOT interested in a move to this site - it kinda defeats the purpose of having an all girls school. Maybe you have information to the contrary?
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 05:08 PM   #55
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I agree EH have served Liverpool badly, I said that myself. And actually I think they refused to list the building when it was still owned by Littlewoods. If you have any evidence that LCC have colluded with EH to not list this or any other buildings, I would love to hear it.

It's a red herring to start saying "What about the innovation park" when the school will have no less affect it's viability of than the Urban Splash proposals, which were not exactly going to attract hi-tec industry or create highly skilled jobs.

What you haven't explained is why is a school is so much worse a solution for the site than 100's of flats that nobody really wanted. It would have been like the Collegate in Everton, Urban Splash did a fantastic job there, but it took years to sell all the flats.

I don't work for the NWDA, I have no information on what they did to market the building after Urban Splash pulled out. However its standard procurement practise to go back to your reserve tenders if your preferred choice pulls out. I will assume they followed that practice until I see evidence to suggest otherwise. If you want to find out about that or what else the NWDA did to get commercial interest in the site, why don't you make a freedom of information request?

I am not normally one to defend council officials, but the headless chickens accusation is ridiculous. Most of the time we criticise them for the lack of innovative thinking, always going for the simple, boring and safe options. This time they haven't.

Why wasn't it in the original plan? Well for a start Archbishop Blanch & St Margaret's were not looking for a new home 3 years ago, and it's not surprising that the NWDA (as a Development Agency) would be keen to get a commercial scheme on the site. The local community, however, have always aspired to have a secondary school in the area. Opportunities that previously didn't exist, now do. I see nothing suspicious in that.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 12:54 PM   #56
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I think the Urban Splash proposals (although full of the usual Urban Splash flim-flam) would have been better for this area - it would have provided an hotel for innovators and whatnots to stay in and locals to have their wedding receptions in. The apartments would have been occupied 24/7 - 365 (well, at least during term time). There would have been LIFE, LIFE! LIFE! after 4pm and at weekends. Such things matter in my book, especially in a part of town not exactly famous for its craic.

I read what has happened as a stitch-up between governmental agencies and their bitch (LCC) that reaks of short-termism and from which there isn't any going back. In turning this building into a secondary school it creates a dead zone after 4pm and at weekends that won't have any other spin-off benefits.

I'm just not clear how NWDA/LCC started with A and ended up with W. I understand the principle of expediency and if that's what it is they should at least be up front about it but to spin it as they have done in Liverpool Vision's latest puff piece is a just a tad hard for me to swallow - especially as I know what St Margaret's have been saying to the council and what people are saying about the council and the NWDA in Aigburth.

It's kind of like having plans for a 4th 'Grace' and then it falls through for whatever reason but because the owner of the land (erm, NWDA) has governmental cash at its disposal that needs spending - deciding to run with black-cladded flats and an office block for Merseytravel. Not without some merits but not what was promised.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 12:54 PM   #57
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From the BBC -

Quote:
School rebuild plans are changed

Proposals to re-site three Church of England schools in Liverpool have been amended by the city council.

A bid to move St Margaret's school in Aigburth to the Edge Lane Innovation Park has been scrapped following objections from governors.

Instead, St Hilda's school would move to Edge Lane along with Archbishop Blanch to create a £45m facility in the iconic Littlewoods building.


The plan is yet to be agreed by the governing bodies of the schools.

Views heard

The amended proposal forms part of a huge schools rebuilding programme in the city called Building Schools, Skills, Success.

Councillor Keith Turner, member for education, said it was a "once in a generation opportunity" for the city.

"We want schools involved in the decisions at every step of the way and we are fully committed to taking everyone's views on board," he said.

"These new proposals for the Church of England secondary sector are the result of us listening to the views of the schools involved, addressing their concerns and coming up with a new, exciting option which we feel will fully meet their needs."
From here - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/m...de/8159803.stm

Common sense prevailing?
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Old July 21st, 2009, 01:42 PM   #58
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More like lack of consultation and joined up planning shining through. St Margaret's school built an extremely unattractive extension not so long ago so a move was always an odd proposal.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 07:43 PM   #59
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all this seems pointless to me, once the credit crunch is over the building should be converted, there are better things to go in there than a school.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 03:13 PM   #60
Chris B
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From the BBC -

Quote:
Girls' parents oppose school move

Parents are opposing plans which could see boys attending a historic girls' school in Liverpool.

Liverpool City Council wants to move St Hilda's school from Sefton Park to a new £45m site on Edge Lane innovation park.

However, it also proposes boys being admitted after 2014.

The school was included in plans for the co-location with Archbishop Blanch school after the boys' school St Margaret's rejected the plan.

The amended proposal forms part of a huge schools rebuilding programme in the city called Building Schools, Skills, Success.

St Hilda's and Archbishop Blanch would be co-located in new schools which would partly incorporate the landmark Littlewoods building.

The ethos of the school, the learning environment in the school - all of that will be disturbed and weakened by the move
Paul Fitzgerald, parent

Paul Fitzgerald, who is leading the parents group, said no-one disputed that St Hilda's needed a new building.

But he told BBC Radio Merseyside parents believed becoming a mixed-sex school would damage standards.

"We're not objecting to moving per se, what we're objecting to is the council trying to force us into going co-educational," said Mr Fitzgerald.

"The ethos of the school, the learning environment in the school - all of that will be disturbed and weakened by the move.

"The school was founded to give girls a quality education in the city - it's been doing that for 115 years very, very well."

Further consultation

Liverpool City Council's assistant director of education, Tim Warren, said a decision had yet to be made on the move.

"Even if this proposal goes ahead it will result in the school going co-educational from 2014," he said.

"It would remain a girls' school until this date so any decision obviously will not impact on any of the existing pupils at the school."

Mr Warren added that any decision for the school to go co-educational was a matter for the governing body and could not be imposed by the council.

"I can reassure parents there will be further consultation with them on this issue before any final decisions are taken," said Mr Warren.

St Hilda's was originally founded in 1894 when the school opened under its original name, Sefton Park School.

Parents are meeting at Sefton Cricket Club on Tuesday to discuss the plan.
From here - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/m...de/8182930.stm
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