We are conscious that the site is allocated as Metropolitan Open Land. Our proposals therefore aim to keep the new facilities within the developed ‘footprint’ of the site, rather than building on unused land. Some older and unusable buildings will be demolished and replaced.
Plants and flowers grown and arranged by our students will be available for sale and we hope many local people will come and take advantage of this, as well as joining our evening classes in floristry and dog grooming.
The floristry and dog grooming classrooms will be on display to all visitors arriving at the site, as will our exotic and aquatic animals.
We have adopted the following key principles in planning the layout of the site:
✔ Creating a logical route to approaching and moving through the site.
✔ Creating a new ‘shop front’ for the College: showcasing our students’ work for visitors.
✔ Ensuring a clear division between public areas of the site and those only open to students and staff.
The plan below shows the proposed layout.
The site entrance (1) and main car park (2) will remain in the existing location, with a new route created (3) to a relocated main entrance (4). Visitors will approach through an attractive new entrance landscape around the existing eucalyptus tree and northern glasshouse.
By removing the unattractive palisade fencing, we will open up the site to its boundary (5) and improve access into the wooded areas (6) from the main central courtyard (7); this will also allow the existing points (8) to become part of the learning experience for students.
Maintenance vehicle access to the east of the site (9) will be retained to service the animal paddocks.
We are proposing two new buildings – a welcome block and a teaching block. You can see these in the aerial view below.
The welcome block is intended to be the ‘shop-front’ to the development and become the principal access into the wider college site. It will be positioned on the car parking area next to the greenhouse.
The new teaching block will replace two existing buildings (a portacabin and a tin workshop) and two containers. It is mainly positioned on the existing, generally-derelict concrete area next to the glasshouses, one of which will need to be demolished as it is unsafe.
The proposed teaching and welcome buildings are two-storey, which will help us gain the extra quality floorspace we need to provide first class education opportunities, while avoiding the need to significantly encroach further into the MOL.