WOLVERHAMPTON: ‘Outstanding’ academy looking to expand
PIC: CBP Architects
A school in Wolverhampton is planning to build four new classrooms to accommodate growing demand for increased pupil places.
Hill Avenue Academy in Lanesfield has submitted proposals for the extensions – which also include a new entrance reception and staff room.
Originally built in the 1950s as a primary school, the Hill Avenue facility is located within a mainly residential estate in the Spring Vale ward.
In a report to the council, senior planning officer Vijay Kaul said: “Hill Avenue is currently rated outstanding by Ofsted.
“As expected, it is extremely popular with the number of preferences for the school significantly exceeding the number of places on offer over the past four years.
“The planning submission confirms the extension will accommodate its planned increase of pupil places by 105 overall.
“Over a seven-year period starting in September 2022, 15 additional pupils per year will mean admission numbers increased from 315 places to 420 places.
“The single-storey extension will provide an additional four classrooms, new reception area and office space, created by partial demolition of the main school building. This will front the main entrance of the school.
“Part of the existing car parking to the front of school will be relocated to the side.
“There will be a minimum of 22 parking spaces, including a new disabled parking bay and two parking bays served by electric vehicle charging points,” added the report.
The expansion will also lead to an increase of seven full-time equivalent staff, with a proportion of these likely to be part-time.
However, the proposals have sparked a number of concerns from some residents.
The council has received six letters – including one 18-name petition – citing fears including children’s safety; increased pavement parking and potential blocking of residents’ driveways.
Other concerns listed include increased volume of traffic to surrounding roads
and the risk that emergency vehicles may not get through.
The school is currently awaiting approval from the governing body to re-introduce staggered start and finish times – with two starts of 8.30 and 8.45am and two finish times 3.00 and 3.15pm.
Planners will discuss the application at a meeting next Tuesday, November 16.
Words: Joe Sweeney, Local Democracy Reporter
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