Plans for new teaching block to be built at secondary school

A secondary school has unveiled plans to build a new teaching block.

How the new 'learning barn' could look. Pic: Corstorphine & Wright Architects
How the new 'learning barn' could look. Pic: Corstorphine & Wright Architects

Thomas Adams School in Wem says extra space is needed to meet current teaching requirements and allow other buildings on the campus to be adapted.

The new ‘learning barn’ will comprise three classrooms, each big enough for 30 pupils, an office and an external canopy to provide shelter to pupils queuing for the dining hall.

If planning permission is granted by Shropshire Council, the single-storey block will be built on an area of the current staff car park to the north of the main school building.

A design and access statement by planning agent Corstorphine & Wright Architects says: “In order to assist with the ongoing desire to further improve performance by both students and staff, additional teaching facilities are required to provide a modern learning environment and enable existing building elements to be flexibly allocated to other uses.

“The design brief for these proposals was therefore to provide additional non subject specific, but flexible, educational facilities as well as a small administration office.

“The new development will sit within an established school site and therefore represent an appropriate use, which will also sit well with the surrounding, predominantly residential local context.

“The proposed use complies with relevant local planning policies which support additions to existing educational premises in order to maintain and enhance existing services and facilities.

“A number of building block options and feasible locations were investigated and appraised resulting in this preferred proposal.

“Consideration of impact on existing external amenity, connection to existing circulation routes, pupil and visitor safeguarding and impact on car parking were all primary factors as well as potential site access and minimising disruption to the school during construction works.”

The school currently has just over 1,200 pupils on roll between the ages of 11 and 18, and the documents submitted with the plans do not say whether this is expected to increase as a result of the extra classroom space.

The design and access statement does however say there is not expected to be an increase in traffic.

It says: “It is not anticipated that the new proposals will lead to an increase in car travel since the school is situated close to Wem town centre and within a predominantly residential area, and approximately 60 per cent of the pupil role travel on school buses from the extensive surrounding rural area.”

The development will lead to the loss of 20 parking spaces, but the plans show these will be replaced by 11 new spaces next to the block and nine ‘informal’ spaces near the main entrance.

The planning application will now be considered by Shropshire Council.

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