On 28th January, the consultation period on our proposed land sale concluded. Throughout the process, we were asked a number of questions, many of which have been answered in our helpful FAQs blog post.
A few of the questions we were asked surrounded the next steps if the land sale was to go ahead, namely: “what is the full process?”, “what happens next?”, and “how long will the process take?”. Rather than addressing these queries in the frequently asked questions post, we wanted to provide a more detailed explanation. In this post, we will present an overview of the entire process, from start to finish, and what each step should entail.
Please note that all timeframes are subject to change and should be considered estimates. Devizes school will also continue to consult with focus groups and stakeholders throughout this process.
Official Consultation Period (8th December — 28th January)
A consultation period is required to gather the opinions of those involved with the school and who may, in some way, be affected by the land sale. We gathered opinions from students and their parents, school staff, the local community, and a number of organisations. Following the end of the official consultation period, we have also produced a list of responses to the frequently asked questions that were asked, and these can be found on our helpful FAQs blog post.
Business Case sent to DfE for review (February/March)
Devizes School is required to submit a thorough document to the Department for Education (DfE) containing various details about the land sale, as well as all the feedback gathered during the official consultation period. The DfE conducts a comprehensive review of the business case, staying in communication with our school throughout. During this process, Devizes will also continue to consult with focus groups and stakeholders throughout the time that the Business Case is being reviewed. Upon concluding the review, which can last between eight and eighteen weeks, the DfE will make a final decision on whether or not to permit the land sale.
Ecological Survey (April/May)
While the Department for Education is reviewing the business case, an ecological survey will take place at Devizes School. The survey, officially named an ‘Environmental Impact Assessment’, inspects the flora and fauna living within the area of land being sold and determines if any development on the land will have a negative impact on its inhabitants.
Also at this time, the purchaser of the land may or may not decide to submit a pre-planning application. This is at the discretion of the purchaser and is not a requirement.
If the Department for Education approves the land sale, the purchaser will produce and submit a planning application for the development of the land. This will include a comprehensive overview of how they plan to use the land.
Development of Land
If the land purchaser’s planning application is accepted, they will begin the development of the land. The time scale for this final stage of the process is contingent on several factors and could last several months after the formal sale of land has been completed.
As evidenced in this post, the entire process may take some time. We would like to express our gratitude for your continued patience as the process continues. Please rest assured that we will keep you up to date with any progress that is made.