Wisewood’s new future

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FUTURE plans to turn the Wisewood School site into a sports centre, youth facilities, community garden and base for local police are set to be approved by Sheffield Council.

The proposals - which also include selling off 30 per cent of the site on Ben Lane to create housing for OAPs - have been drawn up following consultation with hundreds of residents.

Sheffield Council’s cabinet is expected to approve the blueprint at its meeting on Wednesday.

The authority sent letters to 2,500 households in the area and received 450 responses. Councillors also sent out questionnaires, which were completed by 79 people.

Most residents wanted to keep the sports hall and playing fields and were in favour of the creation of a community centre and community garden, and development of sheltered housing.

Other suggestions included creating a doctor’s surgery, cafe, business units, allotments and artists’ studios.

Wisewood Primary School, which is next to the secondary school site, supported proposals to retain a sports centre and community centre.

The new Forge Valley school, which will replace Wisewood and Myers Grove schools from September, has said it is willing to contribute towards staff and facility costs.

In a letter, head Diane McKinlay and chair of governors Alison Piper said: “We recommend Sheffield Council takes account of potential partnership working between Wisewood and Forge Valley to help ensure long-term sustainability of the sports facilities.”

The council is required to keep the sports centre open or could face having to repay the £1.8 million Government grant which paid for its construction.

Funding for improved sports facilities is set to come from income from the sale of part of the Chaucer School site at Parson Cross to Asda.

The report to Sheffield Council’s cabinet proposes formation of a management board - including representatives from the community - to oversee the site, open the playing fields for ‘wider community use’, provide a flood-lit multi-use games area for hire, convert former school buildings into a community and youth centre and create a community garden.

One of the buildings, on Rural Lane, is recommended for a base for Police Community Support Officers. There are proposals for extra car parking and using the land for sheltered housing.