Free schools in pubs, cinemas or bookies?
19 Oct 2010
The government has published a consultation paper on possible changes to planning regulations to make it easier for the promoters of 'free schools' to provide lessons in a wide range of premises that are not currently designated for educational use.
These could include pubs, cafes, cinemas, shops, and offices -- but the line has been drawn at nightclubs. Nevertheless, the range of suggested premises leaves plenty of scope for cartoonists and satirists.
The consultation paper 'Planning for Schools Development' can be found here: www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/1734022.pdf
It sets out several options, including one that would leave planning regulations as they are.
A second option canvasses support for allowing certain buildings to given permitted development rights to convert to school use. These include:
- Shops, including hairdressers and sandwich bars.
- Banks, building societies and betting offices.
- Business offices.
- Hotels and boarding houses.
- Young offenders' institutions and military barracks.
- Cinemas, bingo and dance halls (but not nightclubs!).
A third option lists a further range of buildings, including pubs, restaurants, and private homes. A fourth option suggests carte blanche.
The consultation is only open for 8 weeks as the government says it is keen to ensure the first 'free schools' can open for the 2011-12 academic year.