THE DERELICT former home of the city’s park and ride scheme should be the site of Worcester’s new primary school, a Claines councillor has claimed.
Coun Andy Stafford has welcomed the approval of the new North Worcester Primary Academy by the Department of Education and called for the new school to breathe new life into the former Perdiswell Park and Ride site.
The new primary school is to be set up and operated by the Rivers CE Academy Trust which also runs the very popular and highly rated Northwick Manor Primary School.
Coun Stafford, who represents the area for the Conservatives on both Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council, highlighted the benefits of the Droitwich Road site.
“This site is vacant, ideally located, has excellent road links, a safe crossing, and would be straightforward to develop to help meet the target opening of September 2018,” he said.
“Using this site for the new primary school also prevents pressure being applied to build on playing fields or greenbelt land,” he added.
Transport chiefs at Worcestershire County Council mothballed the site in September 2014 in a desperate bid to slash costs and save an estimated £25million a year in taxpayers’ cash.
The decision provoked criticism and came amidst a host of bus services being axed as county chiefs also reduced cash paid to operators provide services.
Taxpayers have been paying £3,000 per month to keep the Worcester City Council owned John Comyn Drive site secure.
Coun Stafford claimed the current Labour administration was drawing up plans to build 250 three storey town houses on this site and the surrounding area of Perdiswell Park.
“250 new houses would create more demand for school places, extra traffic and congestion and would result in the loss of significant green space,” Coun Stafford said.
“The site is not allocated in the South Worcestershire Development (SWDP) for housing and is not needed to meet Worcester’s housing needs.
“Labour have no council seats in the area and I believe they shamelessly see Perdiswell as a cash cow to fund their reckless spending,” he added.
In response, City Council Labour leader Coun Adrian Gregson told the Observer:
“There is a masterplan for the Perdiswell area which is in the development stage and takes in all of the area and the surrounds and includes the swimming pool.
“All options for the further development of the site are in the mix but any planning applications would have come through the committee system which Coun Stafford can contribute to.
“But for him to say the Labour group is planning to build houses on the site is incorrect,” he added.
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