A private school in Craven says its future is secure after getting planning permission to build houses within its grounds.
Last week, Craven District Council approved outline planning consent for the second of two housing developments, together totalling around 50 new homes, in the grounds of Malsis School, Glusburn.
Around five houses will be built on a site close to the main school, while the remainder will be built on two areas of grassland enclosed by trees on the outskirts of the school boundaries.
The school will now use money made from the sale of the land to developers to make urgent repairs to its listed buildings and to upgrade its sports facilities – which will be shared with the Craven community.
They will include improvements to the school’s sports hall, the provision of three new sports pitches and the upgrading of a three kilometre mountain bike track around the school’s 35 acre grounds.
Headmaster Marcus Peel said the school wanted to thank all who had supported the applications.
The school, which in 2020 will be 100 years old, employs more than 50 people, most of whom live in the area.
“We would like to thank the parish council, the local community and Craven District Council planners for their tremendous support of our development projects and for recognising the value of Malsis within the community,” he said.
“Profits from the development will ensure the upkeep of the school, a grade two listed building, the provision of three new sports pitches, that will be available for community use, the upgrading of the school’s 3km mountain bike track, which has been used by thousands of young people from outside the school over the years, and the improvement of our sports hall, which is used throughout the year by clubs from outside the school.”
Malsis, an independent school, has 100 pupils on its roll, aged from three to 13.
Both planning applications will be subject to conditions – including agreed community use and that money from the smaller development will be ring-fenced for repairs.
Mr Peel added: “We are very proud of nurturing purposeful, balanced young people in a crucial part of their educational development. We are a non-selective school with children from diverse family backgrounds, where the majority of parents both work hard and make significant sacrifices to give their children the best possible start they can.
“Our small class sizes enable children to develop confidence and to thrive in a highly supportive atmosphere. Parents must also enjoy being part of their children’s education and Malsis is a real community in this way.”