Furness Academy building project delay cost school £780k, meeting told
Last updated at 16:21, Thursday, 21 March 2013
A YEAR-LONG delay in a major building project resulted in hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money being wasted, a councillor has claimed.
Speaking at a meeting of Barrow Borough Council, Councillor Brendan Sweeney said a village green application which was registered in 2011 resulted in a year’s delay to the Furness Academy development.
He said the resulting public inquiry had cost Cumbria County Council £81,500 and that the academy has said the cost of the delay to it was £780,000.
But Councillor Ray Guselli, who spoke for applicant Jim Jefferson at the inquiry, said 6,000 people had signed a petition against the siting of the building and it was his democratic right to call for the inquiry.
An inquiry was held in September 2011 to examine if land earmarked for the new academy building should be classified as a town or village green.
Ex-borough council member Mr Jefferson argued the school’s playing fields should be given special protection from development as the community had benefited from them for a prolonged period of time.
Independent inspector David Ainger recommended the village green bid be turned down, and the county council agreed to accept the inquiry findings. Work on the project was started in December of that year and is due to be completed this summer.
The row at the meeting escalated after Cllr Guselli and Councillor Jack Richardson issued a motion calling for the existing Parkview buildings to gain listed building status.
However, Cllr Sweeney said this would be a further waste of public money as the application had little chance of success.
He said: “There has been a very substantial waste of public money around this site over the past two years.”
Cllr Guselli replied that the application had been registered due to public opposition to the siting of the building and that he wished the school every success.
He said: “I am desperately sorry that you don’t agree with the opportunity to exercise democracy. That is what the village green application allows people to do.”
Members voted against the plans to apply for listed building status for the two Parkview buildings, however the council will form a working group to look at ways that buildings important to the town can be retained.
First published at 16:10, Thursday, 21 March 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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How about starting with one of Barrows oldest and most run down buildings owned by the council..... Barrows old station building which is part of history of this town. But ooops its right in the way of the future white elephant marina so I guess thats demolished then if its not burnt down in the mean time. Come on councillors save something worth it I think it would make a fine entrance to the docks and worth preserving. Once its gone its gone
So thats Â£860,000 thats now not going to be spent on education - THANKS. Also the 6000 signatures were against the academy as a whole not the siting of the new build.
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