School size Primary looks for approval of expansion
PLANS to expand a primary school in Cheltenham to fit an extra 165 pupils could be approved next week.
Leckhampton C of E Primary School would receive a hall, relocated access for vehicles and a games area if approved by Gloucestershire County Council on September 26.
The changes are being made to cope with an increase in demand for primary school places in the south-eastern part of Cheltenham.
Leckhampton with Warden Hill Parish Council has raised concerns over heavy traffic, high pollution levels and the omission of a proposed new off-road pathway leading to the school.
The primary is one of the oldest in Cheltenham where the construction of original school room dates back nearly 180 years.
The purpose of the application, submitted by the council council, is to expand the primary school by one form of entry in September 2020 within the existing site boundaries to meet the increasing demand.
The school currently has a net capacity of 465, a council document said, adding there were 466 children on roll in October 2018.
The expansion would add 165 places, making the capacity 630.
According to a council report, there would need to be an extra five full-time teachers, five parttime teaching partners, five midday supervisors and three support team members.
The proposal is to build a hall with kitchen and staff facilities, extend the entrance and reception area, create a new pedestrian access, re-located vehicular access, extend the car park, and build a multi-use games area.
According to a council document, a proposal to create a new rear entrance to the school in Burrows Playing field was made during a public consultation last year.
However, the plans have been dropped due to security and safeguarding concerns by the school.
The parish council said the school pupil size will increase by 50 per cent, adding “we should do everything possible to increase modal shift from cars and buses, towards cycling and walking”.
A representation by the parish council said: “We understand that the main objection to the rear entrance is that it might compromise safeguarding. We appreciate this concern, but the rear-access could be kept locked except when children are travelling to and from the school and CCTV surveillance is also possible.”
Councillor Iain Dobie, who represents the ward on the county council, said one parent of a childtold him the current footway between Redrow estate and the school is “unsafe”.
Officers have recommended the county council’s planning committee approve the application on September 26, from 10am.