Mid Suffolk District Council has bought the redundant Middle School and community buildings in School Street, Needham Market, from Suffolk County Council and will now be looking at plans to redevelop the site.
The Middle School closed in July 2015, following the outcome of the Schools Organisation Review which standardised schooling across Suffolk from 3 to 2 tier.
The purchase of this site also includes community buildings which are home to a library run by Suffolk Libraries and an internet café run by members of the local community. Mid Suffolk will now work closely with these groups on continuing to provide much valued local facilities.
Proposals for a housing scheme are being drawn up and these will be subject to a public consultation through the usual planning processes.
Cllr Nick Gowrley, Leader of Mid Suffolk District Council and Portfolio Holder for Assets and Investment said, “Earlier this year we unveiled our Joint Strategic Plan in which we outlined our vision for investing in our communities by bringing redundant sites back into use - and the acquisition of the Middle School and land is an important first step as we start to see that vision taking shape. Work on redeveloping this area will now gather momentum over the coming months as we press ahead with plans for the provision of new homes and community facilities and we look forward to sharing these early next year and working with key stakeholders to bring these to fruition.”
Cllr Richard Smith, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Property said: “This is great news and my thanks to all the officers involved. Part of our aspirations for the site were to provide a new library and facilities for the community as well as provision of new homes. Mid Suffolk were able to provide a whole site solution delivering these aims. The playing fields have been retained by Suffolk County Council for community use. I look forward to hearing about the development of Mid Suffolk District Council’s plans for this fantastic site.”