Fresh details on plans to turn former Doncaster school land into dozens of eco council houses

A date has been set to begin building dozens of ‘high-quality, environmentally friendly’ council houses on the site of a former Doncaster school.

By George Torr, local democracy reporter
Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 10:33 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 10:36 am
The former Nightingale School in Balby
The former Nightingale School in Balby

Doncaster Council is set to spend £9.6 million on building 51 homes on the site of the former Nightingale School off Cedar Road in Balby.

Some of the costs are included in the site clearance and work is expected to begin in June 2022 with a completion date of October 2023.

The plan also includes returning an acre of land for public open space for the community.

Of the total project cost, DMBC has asked South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority to fund £1.57 million. Officers at SYMCA and political leaders on the four councils are expected to approve the allocation next month.

The project is part of Doncaster Council’s ambition to build over 1,000 low-rent social housing properties.

Over 600 new homes will be built by the council, more than 500 through the £100 million Council House Build Programme and up to 100 more as Doncaster Council aims to secure a Homes England grant.

Up to another 900 affordable homes will be financed by housing associations, supported by a Homes England grant.

Ruth Adams, deputy chief executive at SYMCA, said: “The former Nightingale School is a1.64 ha site which closed in August 2003 and was used as temporary accommodation for Doncaster’s Regimental Museum up until 2019 and was cleared in early 2021.

“The £9.59m project will deliver 51 new high-quality, environmentally friendly affordable homes and will be retained by Doncaster Council as a part of their social housing portfolio.

“Just under an acre of green space will also be brought back into public use. The works will begin in June 2022 and be completed in Autumn 2023.

“The outline business case specifically states that Mayoral Combined Authority funding will contribute to the project achieving low carbon standards, including solar panels, EV charging point, air source heat pumps, high thermal performance, and an upgrade of an existing electricity substation to service the site.

“In addition to the high energy performance of the homes, funding will also contribute to the costs of preparing the derelict brownfield site. Specific items to be funded include increased costs for site preparation.”