BLACKWELL First School has been given the go-ahead to start building a three- classroom extension and car park.
Proposals for an external timber store and a new hard play space have also been approved by Worcestershire County Council’s planning committee and the school was given permission to relocate its existing temporary classrooms until after the works have been completed. They will then be taken down.
The proposals were put forward because of an increase in demand for places. Currently Blackwell accommodates 100 pupils but once the new build has been finished it will have space for 150 children.
The extension, attached to the existing boiler room, will be one storey high and will take up about 350 square metres. The new building will also include pupil toilets, cloak areas, stores, a main entrance lobby with school office, disabled and staff toilet, a headteacher’s office and a medical inspection room.
As part of the development the existing freestanding brick building, currently used for storing play equipment, will also be demolished and one of the classrooms will be increased in size and incoporated with an existing storage area and the staff toilet. A new corridor will be added within the staff room to link the new extension.
The car park, across the road from the main school building, will be tarmac and gravel and have a row of 12 spaces including a disabled spot.
Sport England objected to part of the proposals regarding the car park on the grounds playing fields would be lost.
Other concerns included an increase in traffic and the noise the development would bring during and after the construction phase.
Objections were also made over the loss of privacy caused from the car park to residents living opposite it and with the location being considered ‘dangerous’ by some as it was on a busy road with parked cars which, they said, obstructed visibility when exiting the car park.
The county highways officer, after reviewing a report, had no objections to the proposal and believed there would be no adverse impact on highway safety.
Parish councillor Janet King said: “We have no objection at all to the extension of the school – we are very eager and looking forward to it.
“The objection is with the staff car park – it is on greenbelt land and is in fact on land proposed to become a conservation area.”
She added the land should be used as a youth and recreation area or playing field for the children.
Coun King requested the applicant consider an alternative field for the car park.
The applicants said they had considered one further away but the headteacher deemed it too far for staff to walk because it was not well lit.