Blind College has New Plans
By InSITE Reporter Shae Courtney
The Royal National College for the Blind (RNCB) has drawn up ambitious plans for between seventy and eighty-one new residential properties in order to fund new sports facilities for the future.
In May 2007, planning permission was granted for seventy private residential properties on Venns Road near to the existing College campus. Herefordshire Council have since denied planning permission for an extra eleven properties, which would bring the total to eighty-one, citing that the Councillors thought the increase could “not be supported.”
The College has since challenged the Council at a meeting with Herefordshire’s main planning committee on November 23. Although no news has been heard from the College since the November 23 meeting, Robert Astick has said that the declined planning application “represented a stumbling block that could be overcome.”
The fruits of hosting such events as the 2010 Blind Football Championships and the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics will bode well for Hereford
The development on Venns Lane, near to Aylestone Hill, will be contracted out to Bloors LTD. The private residential properties will help fund the facilities for the 2010 World Blind Football Championships which the College is holding and hopes to set the College in a favourable position to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Although the development will require considerable investment by the RNCB, the fruits of hosting such events as the 2010 Blind Football Championships and the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics will bode well for Hereford. The income that could be brought into the city could potentially be £millions and such an opportunity should not be missed in my opinion.
Whatever the ultimate outcome of the meeting with Herefordshire Council planning committee, Mr Astick has promised to go ahead with the development no matter what. The only major disadvantage of not being able to build the maximum amount of homes will be a squeeze on the College’s cash flow which would result in a degree more of extra fundraising to compensate for the loss of revenue.
No matter what the ultimate outcome, the development will bring considerable investment into Hereford and will allow this pioneering learning institute to be a forerunner in the bid for the 2012 Olympic games and other sporting fixtures in years to come.
We wish Mr Astick and all of his team at the College the best of luck with the development and the launch of their “Building Brighter Futures” Campaign after Christmas.