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The new garden at Ysgol Belmont"

Ysgol Belmont Special School, Mill Lane, Buckley

10 July 2005

In October 2005, the eventual closure of the school was announced by Flintshire County Council. The other two special schools in Mold and Shotton were also due for closure as part of a £9m plan to build two new schools on the sites of mainstream schools, one primary and the other secondary.


In March 2007, the plan was given the go-ahead, backed by the Welsh Assembly. The new community primary school would be attached to Flint Gwynedd Primary School. The new secondary school would be attached to Flint High School. After an intitial outcry when the plan was first announced, after the consultaion process, there remained four formal objections. Mr Ron Hampson, chairman of governors, stated that the governing body of the school was not happy with the consultation process and was opposed to the move away from Buckley which, it was felt, had strong links with the school, built up over many years. The Welsh Minister for Education and Lifelong learning, Mrs Jane Davidson, said in a letter that she believed: "that the proposed changes are highly likely to improve the standards that pupils in special schools achieve and the quality of education provided for them. I also agree that.....the changes are also likely to be of benefit in the mainstream schools attached to them." She also believed that Flintshire County Council had "consulted thoroughly" on all aspects of the reorganisation.


In the summer of 2007, the headteacher of Ysgol Belmont, Gareth Jones, was to retire after 31 years of teaching children with special needs. He came to work at the school as a teacher and in 1989 he took over as head. In 2007 the school had 137 pupils from two and a half to nineteen years of age.


At the end of 2008, it was reported that the school land had been sold to the Local Health Board as the site for a new Health Centre. It had not been possible to acquire a site nearer the centre of town. The site was worth an estimated £1.26 million for residential development but the sale of about 55% of that value to the Health Board meant that land would be available for the Centre to house two of the town's four GP practices.


In June 2009, Ysgol Belmont held their last record of achievement event at the Royal Britich Legion building after nearly forty years with around 200 in attendance, including the children and their families. Lord Barry and Lady Janet Jones attended, as they had done almost every year. Lord Jones paid tribute to the teaching and ancillary staff.


In January 2010, it was finally decided to build a new health centre on the site - a partnership between the health board and the GP practices in the town, who will lease the new building. It was planned that 10 GPs would be based there, serving c.18,700 patients. Work was due to begin by September 2010 and finish by late 2012. It was stated that the centre would help towards the provision of facilities for the population of Buckley - 23% of all new residential builds in the following ten years would be in Buckley. There had been a preference for the centre to be built in the middle of the town but there was no site available.


In April 2010, proposals to build were deferred by the planning committee, after a proposition that the local member, Mr Mike Peers, should attend. There were concerns about access to the site.


In May 2010, outline plans were approved for a health centre on the site, although the site was not considered ideal. Cllr Carol Ellis raised concerns about traffic and parking problems.


In October 2012, it was announced by a spokesman for the Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board that, subject to planning permission and council support, the new health centre should be underway in January/February 2013. It was planned that Roseneath and Bradley practices, with twelve GPs and 15,000 patients between them, plus phlebotomy and podiatry services would be housed there, along with a district nurse, a schoolnurse and a pharmacy. Cllr Carol Ellis had concerns over amendments to the original plan which could result in trees lining the common being cut down.


In October 2013, it was reported that start date had been given for the £6.8 million health centre of Monday 14th. The developers hoped to have the doors and windows installed by July 2014 and an opening date of December 2013/January 2014. Talks were taking place between the GP services who would be moving there about costs and who would manage the building. Either the GPs would run it or the developers. It was anticipated that the centre would house the Roseneath and Bradley practices, which have 12 GPs and more that 15,000 patients between them.

Author: Anon


Year = 2005

Month = July

Day = 10

Building = School

Landscape = Other Park

Extra = 2000s

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