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Published 20 March 2017
The Real Estate team at international law firm DAC Beachcroft has assisted The King's School in Macclesfield in securing planning permission for a new state-of-the-art green belt campus on the edge of the town. The 500-year-old school intends to consolidate its current multi-site operation to a single location in the Macclesfield green belt, funding the move by selling its existing sites at the best possible value.
This means the school has had to secure planning permission not only for its new green belt campus but also for up to 450 residential units on its current sites (one of which is also washed over by green belt) while simultaneously keeping the cost of planning obligations down. Timing has been another key consideration, as the opening of the new school will need to coincide with the start of an academic year. Avoiding a planning appeal or a call-in inquiry was therefore a major consideration.
Savills plc prepared and ran the planning applications on behalf of the school while DAC Beachcroft's Planning team provided strategic legal advice and transactional support.
The multi-site proposals raised a range of complex planning and legal issues including the very special circumstances test; an enabling case encompassing separate sites and applications; five-year housing land supply; the role of planning benefits on one site in decisions on another; stopping up public rights of way and securing a flexible regime of planning obligations.
Planning permission for all three applications was granted on 23 January and the judicial review period has now expired without any challenges.
DAC Beachcroft is now advising the school on the acquisition of its relocation site and on the disposal of its existing sites, all of which has been facilitated by a substantial private donation.
Senior Associate, Simon Kelly, who led the planning team for DAC Beachcroft, commented: "This was an unusually complex project with numerous moving parts, all of which needed to be coordinated to ensure the right result. It was a superb team effort and it has been a delight working with Savills and the school on this exciting development."
The King’s School Headmaster, Dr Simon Hyde, added: "Our 2020 Vision for King’s is a truly transformative project, which will conclude with the opening of one of the finest educational facilities in the country. We are deeply indebted to DAC Beachcroft and Savills, whose expert advice and perseverance in the face of numerous planning challenges has enabled our success."
If you would like to read more about the development, please visit: http://www.kingsmac.co.uk/school_news/19321.