Packed school gets £2.5m room to grow

Macclesfield Express - - SCHOOLS NEWS - KAREN BRIT­TON

APACKED pri­mary school is get­ting vi­tal new class­rooms af­ter plans were ap­proved fol­low­ing a £2.5 mil­lion fund­ing boost.

Staff and pupils at Parkroyal Com­mu­nity School, Lyon Street, Mac­cles­field have been cel­e­brat­ing win­ning £2.5 mil­lion of gov­ern­ment fund­ing for new build­ings to ac­com­mo­date the chil­dren.

The school was des­per­ate for fund­ing be­cause it’s over­sub­scribed and has in­ad­e­quate fa­cil­i­ties.

But it has been a race against time to spend the money, with the school given un­til next March to com­plete the build or risk los­ing the cash.

Head­teacher Caron Cor­den sub­mit­ted a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion to Cheshire East coun­cil to de­mol­ish two un­fit build­ings used for nurs­ery and early years teach­ing and build a new two storey ex­ten­sion.

The plans in­clude a new sin­gle storey din­ing ex­ten­sion off the ex­ist­ing main hall.

Coun­cil­lors on the North­ern Plan­ning Com­mit­tee of Cheshire East have now ap­proved the plans, mean­ing the school can plough ahead with the aim of meet­ing its fund­ing dead­line.

Mrs Cor­den, who spoke to mem­bers at the com­mit­tee meet­ing, said it was a ‘once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity’ for the school.

She said: “The school is over­sub­scribed and it’s vi­tal we have new fa­cil­i­ties.

“We have the youngest chil­dren in not-fit-for­pur­pose fa­cil­i­ties and have been try­ing to find fund­ing to re­place the old damp build­ings, so we’re de­lighted to have won the £2.5mil­lion fund­ing.

“We apol­o­gise if our public con­sul­ta­tion seemed rushed but we found out about the fund­ing in May and it’s a con­di­tion that we must have com­pleted the pro­ject and spent the money by March 2016, so it’s a very tight sched­ule.

“Ev­ery­one at the school has em­braced this and worked very hard to get ready for the de­mo­li­tion over the sum­mer and build­ing asap.

“If the plan­ning per­mis­sion is de­layed it’s not vi­able.”

There were con­cerns over the im­pact of traf­fic on Lyon Street but the main ac­cess into the site will be fur­ther down the road from Whis­ton Street.

Coun Craig Browne raised con­cerns over the mod­ern de­sign of the build­ing along­side the his­toric main build­ing, but plan­ning of­fi­cers said con­tem­po­rary de­sign is more com­mon when re­ly­ing on gov­ern­ment fund­ing be­cause it’s less ex­pen­sive.

●● Parkroyal Com­mu­nity Pri­mary School has won a grant of £2.5m to­wards an ex­ten­sion

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