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Future of former Dorking adult education building finally decided - again!

February 24, 2021 12:37 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

Dene StreetAt the Cabinet meeting of Surrey County Council on 23 Feb a decision on the future use of what used to be the Adult Education Centre in Dene Street, Dorking has finally been made - again!

The building is one of a number of vacant properties belonging to the County Council that have been left empty and unused for over 10 years. Over that period there have been a number of suggestions as to how it could be put to use, including as a community facility, but all proposals were rejected by the Council. Just three years ago planning permission was granted for it to be converted into flats, but this project was also abandoned.

The Cabinet decision will see the main building converted into flats for 'looked after children' leaving care and for a small new build family sized children's home next to the main building. Residents will have the opportunity to comment on the scheme in a future consultation and the planning application, expected to be submitted in April, should include assurances around the environmental impact of the development, as well as addressing sustainability and wildlife concerns.

County Councillor Stephen Cooksey said 'After many years and much frustration I welcome the County's proposal - at last there is a scheme that will not only preserve and enhance the building and the site but will put it to a valuable social use. The accommodation that will be provided is much needed and will significantly enhance the prospects of young people who are in care or emerging from a care regime. Local people will be fully consulted as the scheme is developed.'