School size Pri­mary looks for ap­proval of ex­pan­sion

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - [email protected]­plc.com Leigh BOOBYER

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.

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