A LARGE chunk of land at a Swansea comprehensive school will finally be sold to a developer after years of discussing the idea.
Nearly eight acres deemed surplus at Olchfa School, Sketty, will make way for housing following a decision by cabinet.
Details of the preferred bidder and sale price are not known, but 42% of the units which are built there will be classed as affordable.
The land is roughly the size of three rugby pitches and includes a red gravel pitch and tennis courts which are not considered fit for purpose.
Part of the agreement is that a floodlit all-weather pitch will be provided for the school, and for community use outside school hours.
Introducing the land sale proposal at a cabinet meeting, Councillor David Hopkins said: “We’ve had a lot of talking about this and a lot of consultation.”
He reckoned the council might be able to increase the 42% affordable housing allocation in due course.
Cabinet approved a recommendation to sell the land to the preferred bidder, and gave Cllr Hopkins and a council director authority to negotiate the final heads of terms agreement.
A consultation into the proposal three years ago prompted a number of letters, emails and a petition signed by 111 residents who were worried about parking problems opposite the school on the Hendrefoilan estate.
They said the land earmarked for sale should be used for parking for students at the adjacent Hendrefoilan student village.
Speaking after the cabinet meeting, Sketty councillor Mike Day said it was unfortunate the council was in a position where school land was considered for sale, but that it was “an economic necessity”.
Cllr Day, who is also a governor at Olchfa, said the school supported the sale on the basis that it would benefit from it.
He added: “As a Sketty councillor, we hope that whoever is the preferred bidder will come up with a scheme which is the least disruptive to residents.”
The preferred bidder will have to submit a planning application in due course for the site, which runs directly alongside a section of Aneurin Way to the south.
Councillor David Heliwell, who also represents Sketty, said: “They [the school] have got a lot of land up there. If the council is strapped for cash, I can understand it.”