College says it will be short of funds after council rejected 250-home development on college land

The future of the National Construction College has been thrown into doubt after being told it could not develop part of its land for housing to raise vital funds.

The college, Europe’s largest construction training provider, has lost a planning appeal against the local council for a proposed 250-home development. The college says that without the funds for improvement the development would have provided, closure of parts of its facilities was a “real possibility”.

Andy Walder of the National Construction College said: "This announcement puts the college in a very difficult position, and although it would be unfair to speculate too widely about its future before the next board meeting in February, closure of parts of the facility is now a real possibility. This may result in job losses, but it will take time before the college, ConstructionSkills and industry are in a position to arrive at a definite solution or give concrete answers.”

The college will now work closely with the government to understand the full implications of the decision. The National Construction College board will meet next in February 2007 to discuss the report and its implications for the College.

A planning application was submitted in 2004 to redevelop the site to build a state of the art campus with brand new training and recreational facilities and accommodation.

To fund the new development, the application included plans to build new homes on an unused area of the college site, however, the application was rejected by the local council last year and the college subsequently appealed against the decision.