PLANS to knock down a primary school and build a replacement in the grounds look set to be approved shortly.

St Peter’s School in Birstall could be completely rebuilt under the latest plans, which involves a new school on playing fields to the north of the site.

It is part of the Government’s School Rebuilding Programme which involves major rebuilding and refurbishment projects at school and sixth-form college buildings across England.

It was announced in July 2021 that St Peter’s, a Church of England school, was to be included in the second set of schools announced.

Following consultation with the local community, plans were submitted earlier this year, and the scheme is set to go before Kirklees Council’s strategic planning committee on August 3.

In a report to the meeting, it states: “The existing school was built circa 1960 and is in a poor state of repair and its facilities are no longer fit for modern purpose.

“This includes, but is not limited to, insufficient staff and student amenities, accessibility facilities, and classrooms / circulation spaces being too small.

“During the feasibility stage, it was determined that St. Peter’s should be rebuilt rather than refurbished, due to its age and condition making it fundamentally unsuitable for modern use.”

The scheme, from the Diocese of Leeds, will see the existing school remaining open during construction, which will then be demolished once the new build is completed.

The proposals also include improvements to the site access, the formation of a car park and children’s outdoor play areas, as well as PV solar panels on the roof.

In a design and access statement accompanying the plans it states: “The project will create a modern environment for the local pupils to learn and grow. The new school building will retain the current number of 210 pupils plus 26 nursery places which will be distributed in a two-storey building.”

It adds that alternative options, such as demolishing the existing school and constructing the new school in the location of the existing building or relocating the school to the existing hard play surface, were ruled out.

The two-storey building will provide space for early years and Key Stage 1 on the ground floor with Key Stage 2 teaching spaces on the first floor.

It will continue to employ 31 members of staff and the school start and finish times will also remain the same.

The application is recommended for approval with a number of conditions.

 

Source: Telegraph & Argos

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