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Leyland primary school to be demolished and rebuilt

Posted on - 14th July, 2023 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Education, Leyland, Politics, Preston News, Schools, South Ribble News, Uncategorized
Seven Stars Primary School and how it will look once rebuilt

Pupils from a primary school in Leyland will move into temporary classrooms while the ageing buildings in which they currently learn are flattened and replaced.

Seven Stars Primary School, on Peacock Hall Road, Leyland, is getting the brand new facilities as part of the government’s school rebuilding programme. The scheme has now also been given the necessary permission from South Ribble Borough Council’s planning committee, meaning that work can get under way as soon as the ambitious scheme is ready to be delivered.

The project will see the two existing, single-storey buildings on the site demolished and a new part-single and part two-storey facility erected in their place.

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In order to keep the 223-pupil school in operation during the works, the demolition will be done in phases, with some pupils housed in a temporary structure containing three classrooms. Once the new building is complete, the temporary one will be removed.

The present facilities were constructed almost 60 years ago and are no longer ”fit for purpose”, planning agent Katie Delaney told the committee. They are also larger than required for the one-form entry school, whose pupil and staff numbers will not change as a result of the redevelopment.

“The school is currently in a poor state of repair…and it is also highly inefficient in terms of its energy usage,” Ms Delaney explained. “This new building will ensure that there will be an excellent learning environment for pupils in an energy efficient building.

“The attainment…[of] the children of this school can only be improved if the fabric of the building is improved.”

Read more: New Goosnargh primary school consultation started

The meeting heard that the school, which is rated “good” by Ofsted, is in one of the most deprived parts of South Ribble – and Department for Education data shows that almost half of its 3-11-year-old pupils are entitled to free school meals.

As part of the upgrade, a new multi-use games area (MUGA) will be created – but that prospect had sparked concern from the school’s nearest neighbours, councillors were told.

Seven Stars ward councillor Jane Bell said that while locals agreed that “all children should be taught in a safe, warm and fit-for-purpose building”, they feared that existing parking problems would be worsened by the MUGA, which will be open for community use.

Read more: Cottam Primary School two-form entry to be made permanent

South Ribble planning case officer Janice Crook said that a community response to the authority’s consultation on the plans had described parking as “a huge issue, with parents blocking driveways [and] coaches for swimming lessons and teacher parking all causing problems”.

However, she said that Lancashire County Council highways officials had not raised any objection to the plans and noted that an 18-space car park, two disabled parking bays and a minibus drop-off area would all be provided.

Committee member Haydn Willaims added that any parking issues would remain “whether the school gets [re]built or not”, while Cllr Bell acknowledged that headteacher Mike Mitchell issued helpful “reminders” to parents about parking responsibly.

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However, South Ribble’s environmental health team had broader concerns about the overall impact of the MUGA on nearby properties and so have insisted on a condition restricting its use – for both the school and the wider community – to between 9am and 6pm on weekdays and from 9am until 1pm on Saturdays.

The revamped school will also boast an outdoor learning and habitat area and a new playground, while the majority of the existing trees that screen the building from the properties opposite will be retained.

Committee member Will Adams said that he believed the new school would have “an amazing impact” on current and future pupils, while fellow member Peter Mullineaux added that it could only “enhance” the local community – and the application was unanimously approved.

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