West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has today expressed her sadness that the High Court has refused to enforce a covenant protecting continued teaching at the historic Malvern Hills College.
Warwickshire College Group, which announced plans to close the college in 2020, took Malvern Hills District Council to court to challenge the legality of the covenant. The Group wants to sell the site without the covenant, meaning a housing developer could pull down the old college building and build houses in its place.
Although a rescue bid was pulled together to buy the site from Warwickshire College Group, negotiations stalled, and a deal could not be reached before the court hearing.
“The council expressed a clear view that it wished to protect teaching at Malvern Hills College, and at the last full council meeting, councillors also reinforced their unanimous support.
“My reading of the judgment is that the courts want to ignore the wishes of the democratically elected councillors and I would support the council if they chose to appeal this ruling.
“It brings me great sadness that it has come to this, where an educational body is willing and able to sue a council to profit from selling off one of our community assets.
“I understand that Warwickshire College Group’s chief executive, who has led this asset-stripping exercise, will soon be moving on and I hope that wiser heads will prevail, even at this late stage, to allow a deal to be done to ensure teaching is returned to Malvern Hills College.”