Councillors ‘hugely disappointed’ after Walden School sold to developers

Heather Asker, R4U councillor.

Heather Asker, R4U councillor. - Credit: Archant

Local party Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) have spoken out about the sale of Walden School to a property development company.

It was announced yesterday (April 24) that the private school, which shut last year, had been sold to Chase (SW) Limited, part of the Chase New Homes group, a housebuilding company, despite efforts to keep the site for educational use.

R4U’s Cllr Heather Asker said: “We are hugely disappointed by what appears to be a lack of consideration for the education needs of the town’s residents and the likely loss of sports amenities for many local groups. We know that there were bids from two educational groups, including proposals that would have retained the fields for community sports use.

“It seems that yet again outside developer influence overrules local community groups and their individual needs.”

Alistair Wardell, joint administrator of Walden School, said that “every possible effort” was made to attract a buyer that would continue to run the site as an education establishment, but it had not been possible.

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The CEO from Chase, Tony Carey, said: “We are very pleased to be involved in this project. Whilst we understand it was not viable for it to continue as a school for numerous reasons, we look forward to breathing new life into the site in collaboration with the local community.”

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