A CAMPAIGN group in Headington has appealed for partners to help save a children’s retreat that is up for sale.
The Stansfeld Outdoor Education Centre, used by school children from Birmingham and Oxford, closed in July 2014.
Birmingham City Council, which owns the site, said it was no longer economically viable to run and decided to sell it.
Last week it began advertising the 18-acre site, which includes protected woodland and the centre, which could be developed subject to planning permission.
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It is selling a 250 year lease for the site by informal tender and no guide price has been given. The closing date for bids is May 14.
A group of residents and campaigners in Headington Quarry is now seeking potential partners to buy the centre and re-open it.
If it cannot purchase the site, it wants to ensure any developer maintains the woodland.
Co-ordinator of campaign group the Friends of Quarry Richard Bradley said: “We will be looking for partners so we can possibly collaborate on a bid or we are looking to work with a developer.
The key thing is that the woodland is maintained. We want to make sure any developer that comes in will want to do that.”
The 68-year-old said: “We have already been approached by two parties who are interested in buying the site – a private school and a property developer.”
The Rev Canon John Stansfeld, vicar of St Ebbe’s set the facility up in the 1920s before donating the land to Birmingham in 1933.
Retired computer programmer Mr Bradley said the group hoped it could drum up enough interest to save the site.
The grandfather-of-two said: “We want to speak to any potential owner about a workable solution and to ensure that the woodland is maintained, and hopefully, opened to the public.”
The Friends of Quarry successfully bid for the site to become a community asset, meaning it could suspend any commercial sale for six months so it could have time to put in its own bid.
Headteacher of Windmill School Lynn Knapp said: “Stansfeld was a wonderful resource for the children in so many ways. It is a real shame that it is closed.”
- The Friends of Quarry meets next Thursday, March 26, at 7.30pm in the Quarry Village Hall. Contact Mr Bradley on friendsofquarry.org/contact-us/