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Wednesday 2 November 2011

Cheshire East applies to move staff into former Cledford Infant School


Cheshire East Council is proposing to use the vacant former Cledford Infant School building in Middlewich as a base to assist vulnerable children and young people.

The authority has today (Monday, October 31) submitted a planning application to re-open the Long Lane South building as a base for a number of its social care teams and as a key location for delivering services.

It follows an extensive evaluation process which explored a number of options and Cheshire East found the most cost-effective and efficient option would be to relocate up to 60 of its children and families staff into one centrally-located building.

Two public ‘drop-in’ sessions on the application will take place on November 8 and 9 at Cledford Junior School between 4pm and 7.30pm. Residents will be able to view the plans and discuss with council officers. The public can attend at anytime during the sessions.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum, Cabinet member with responsibility for children and family services, said: “The buildings at the former infant school have been vacant for some time, following its amalgamation with Cledford Junior School.

“The Council has long been considering the best future use for the site. If the application is successful, it will produce a number of benefits and encourage more effective working across the newly-formed children, families and adults department.

“The service has had a number of specific and pressing accommodation requirements for some time and the refurbishment and improvement of the Cledford building is an ideal solution for the Council.”

A part of the building would be used for administrative purposes and as an office base for staff. It would also provide rooms for the Council’s children and families ‘cared for’ professionals to individually assess and provide therapy for some children with particular needs.

If approved, Cheshire East intends to grant permission for the school to use the playing fields and be able to use the existing mobile classroom, which is next to the main building. These would be securely fenced off from the refurbished office building.

It is proposed to move staff into the building in June 2012. The application does not seek to radically change the overall appearance of the building but to refurbish the interior.

Councillor Michael Parsons, ward member for Middlewich, said: “I am pleased that the buildings are the subject of a planning application for use by Council staff and provides a more appropriate use of a community asset.”

Cledford Junior and Infant schools, both situated on the same site, merged in January 2008 as part of an education review called Transforming Learning Communities (TLC), which was undertaken by the former Cheshire County Council.

Further information, including a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document and architect’s visuals, are available at

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