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HETTON PRIMARY SCHOOL: Demolish and rebuild plans approved

HETTON PRIMARY SCHOOL: Demolish and rebuild plans approved

Image: LDRS

Plans to build a new multi-million pound base for a Sunderland primary school have been given the stamp of approval.

Earlier this year, Sunderland City Council revealed designs and artist impressions for the brand-new Hetton Primary School.

The city council’s proposals involve demolishing the school’s ageing premises on Moorsley Road to make way for a new facility offering both primary and nursery provision.

Around £5 million of capital funding has already been allocated for the project which aims to offer more specialist teaching provision while increasing pupil numbers.

As part of the designs, a multi-use games area is planned alongside a new and improved site access and larger car park.

The application was recommended for approval at the local authority’s Planning and Highways (West) Committee on Tuesday, June 8.

According to a planning report, the proposed rebuild will boost Hetton Primary School’s pupil numbers by almost 100 and will allow the school to offer education for children aged 2-11.

Meanwhile, the proposed new nursery provision would provide 16 places for two-year-olds and 39 places for pupils aged 3-4.

A planning report adds the nursery will be able to “operate independently with its own front door, secure outdoor and indoor play facilities, toilet and changing areas.”

Councillors heard that the replacement school would help to meet future demand for education facilities in the Hetton-le-Hole area as new housing developments come forward.

At this week’s planning hearing to decide the application, council highways officers said that parking and traffic plans for the site were considered to be acceptable.

This included a new ‘drop-off’ zone and one-way system being introduced to improve on the school’s current facilities.

Questions were also raised about some consultation comments from Hetton Town Council about the potential health and safety implications of asbestos during demolition and ‘unsuitable’ toliet provision for those aged 3-7.

A planning officer said the health and safety matters regarding asbestos would be subject to be separate regulations and ‘dealt with on site by specialists.’

The officer also confirmed that there had been changes to the school plans during the course of the application, which included rearranging the toilets.

The planning application was submitted by the city council’s capital projects team and the application site is also owned by the council.

Following discussion, the plans won unanimous support from the Planning and Highways (West) Committee.

The new school is planned for the north west corner of the school site on the existing grass playing areas to allow the existing school to remain operational during the construction period.

Words: Chris Binding, Local Democracy Reporter

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