Developers and educators interested in Walden School site

PUBLISHED: 11:35 22 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:35 22 November 2017

Walden School in Saffron Walden

Walden School in Saffron Walden

Archant

A deadline has been set for bids to buy the former Walden School site – with both developers and educators interested in the land.

Savills of Cambridge has been tasked with marketing the site by the administrators – and bids from prospective buyers must be entered by December 4.

All bids must include a proposal for future use of the site and the vendors do not have to accept the highest price, the brochure states.

The brochure adds that the sales process needs to be completed by the end of March next year.

No guide price has been set, and unconditional offers need to be made. In the administrators’ first report, the site was valued at £8.3million.

The sales particulars detail that while part of the 9.83ha site on Mount Pleasant Road is currently within a conservation area, a review of the protected zone could see the whole location included.

Justin Bates, director of Savills development in Cambridge, said: “We have received a number of enquiries to date regarding the sale of Walden School and are in talks with both educational and care users, along with developers.

“We are confident the site will remain in educational and community use, hopefully in its entirety.”

Douglas Kent, part of the Gibson House proposals for the former school site – which would see a Quaker-inspired independent school opened with facilities such as the swimming pool and pitches available for community use – said the team would be submitting a bid.
He said: “We are refining our bid and preparing to submit it to meet the deadline.

“People have asked if our bid has been rejected as the site is on open sale, but it has not – it has not, this is standard procedure for administrators, and our bid will be assessed with any others that are received.

“We welcome the details on the conservation area. Our plans do not require enabling development, which we would see as compromising the school.”

Mr Kent added that a presentation of the plans to Saffron Walden Town Council earlier this month seemed to be “well-received” by councillors, and that he had been given a lot of support from residents for the scheme.

The Gibson House proposal has also received the backing of John Woods, headteacher at the former Friends School from 1968-89.

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