Cowes children's unit plans to be scrapped

By David Newble

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

 

UPDATED 12:34*

CONTROVERSIAL plans to site a new unit for children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD) in Cowes are set to be scrapped.

Cabinet member for Children’s Services and Education, Cllr Dawn Cousins is due to recommend at a meeting of full council tonight (Wednesday) that proposals to locate the BESD at the former Love Lane Primary School should be withdrawn.

A report about the revised plans is set to be produced on Friday, December 21 and will be considered by the Isle of Wight Council’s cabinet on January 8 next year.

Plans to build the BESD at Love Lane first went out to consultation in July this year but ran into opposition from parents of children at Lanesend Primary School and Little Love Lane nursery and pre-school.

The decision was welcomed by local member Cllr Roger Mazillius.

He said: "I think it is absolutely the right decision and that as an authority we revisited this in light of public concerns."

*Ken Burns, Chair of the Managing Committee at Little Love Lane Nursery and Pre-school, said: "I am in favour of having BESD children looked after on the Isle of Wight, I just think this was the wrong place.

"Whether there was a risk, we will never know, but there was a perception of risk.

"I think this decision is just common sense. It would have been a social experiment. There is no such unit in the country that is next door to a pre-school."

A statement issued on behalf of the governors, headteacher and staff at Lanesend Primary School said: "We are pleased that Cllr Dawn Cousins has made this recommendation.

"We feel that common sense has prevailed as co-locating the BESD unit on this site was misplanned thinking.

"We are pleased to read that we will be consulted with and kept informed regarding future used of the site."

Reporter: davidn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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