Birstall school to be demolished and replaced with a brand new two-storey building as part of the Department of Education's modernisation programme
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The scheme prioritises institutions by their condition, with this school said to be in need of modernisation.
The current school building that dates back to the 1960s will be demolished and replaced by a brand new two-storey building made from buff brick with a flat green roof.
In order to avoid disrupting the education of current pupils, the current school is to remain open during construction and the new school built on a different part of the same site.
The northern part of the site that is currently field and allocated as open green space in the council’s Local Plan is the location for the new school.
Despite its allocation, council officers recommended the application for approval as the benefits to education were said to outweigh the departure from the Local Plan.
Existing access will be improved, with the vehicular access point off Middlegate to be widened and leading to 12 car parking spaces, plus two accessible bays. Pedestrians will still be able to get on-site via Middlegate or Kings Drive.
Nick Willock, the agent and planning consultant for the applicant – The Church of England – said: “The proposals would result in a high-quality design building with accessible and inclusive indoor spaces and high specification outdoor sports and recreational spaces all to support children’s learning, health and well-being.
“The new school would also have significantly higher environmental credentials than the existing school including a green roof, solar panels, air source heat pumps, flood risk attenuation tanks and considerably better thermal insulation. Boilers will also be electric instead of gas.”
He added: “This modern and high-quality new school would provide local children with a significantly improved learning environment which ultimately aims to improve pupil’s future opportunities and career prospects.”
During a meeting of the council’s strategic planning committee on Thursday (August 3), some members of the committee were concerned with one of the conditions placed on the application.
This stated that there will be a maximum number of staff and students allowed at the school, but members pointed out that there needed to be room for fluctuation due to potential appeals, the admission of SEND students and allowance for additional staff members should funding increase.
The school has a capacity for 210 pupils aged between four and 11, plus 26 places in its nursery and currently has 31 members of staff, with these numbers to remain the same with the new development.
After a great deal of debate, the panel approved the application as recommended by officers, minus the condition around maximum numbers of staff and students.
According to Mr Willock, work on the site will commence this Autumn.