The controversial decision to close Norwich's Wensum Lodge and to potentially sell a venue once dubbed the 'jewel in the crown' of adult education will not be reconsidered.

Despite concern alternative venues where adult education courses would be offered by Norfolk County Council have yet to be identified, councillors voted not to ask for the decision to be reconsidered.

Eastern Daily Press: Wensum Lodge in NorwichWensum Lodge in Norwich (Image: Newsquest)

The council's scrutiny committee was asked to reconsider decisions by the Conservative-controlled cabinet to stop providing courses at the King Street venue and to declare the site surplus to requirements.

Labour councillors 'called-in' the matter, arguing there had not been proper consultation with councillors, the public or tutors.

Eastern Daily Press: Margaret DewsburyMargaret Dewsbury (Image: Norfolk Conservatives)

Margaret Dewsbury, cabinet member for communities and partnerships, said there had been no need to take the matter to councillor committees or steering groups.

The county council has said the building is costly to maintain and that the centre, which has offered adult learning courses since the 1960s, is no longer fit for purpose.

At the scrutiny meeting, officers were asked why a 2019 vision to turn the centre into a creative hub, with pop-up businesses, had been abandoned.

Eastern Daily Press: The 2019 revamp plans for Wensum LodgeThe 2019 revamp plans for Wensum Lodge (Image: Hudson Architects)

Simon Hughes, director of property at County Hall, said the previously cited £20m figure for that would have risen "significantly" since then, given inflation.

Mrs Dewsbury said Covid changed the way people access learning and the council wanted to provide adult education in venues across the county.

Sarah Roden, director of community information and learning, said Wensum Lodge provides 371 courses, but could not yet say which other venues they would move to.

Labour's Emma Corlett said: "371 courses is a lot to find in other places. As a Norwich councillor, I know we are really short of genuine accessible space.

"I feel anxious a decision has been taken before other venues, locations and all that work has been done."

READ MORE: Norwich Wensum Lodge use restriction hope dismissed

Eastern Daily Press: Jamie OsbornJamie Osborn (Image: Jamie Osborn)

A proposal by Green Jamie Osborn to refer the matter back to the cabinet member was rejected and Conservative Brian Long made a proposal, then passed, for no further action.

Eastern Daily Press: Brian LongBrian Long (Image: Archant 2018)