New school designs revealed

NEW pictures of how Lyde Green’s much-delayed new secondary and primary schools are expected to look have been released by South Gloucestershire Council.

The computer-generated images have been produced for a new planning application, needed because of changes to the designs for the 900-place secondary school and 420-place primary school in Honeysuckle Road.

In a 14-page statement accompanying the updated plans, architects Alec French say the secondary school has been “redesigned to Department for Education requirements with additional rooms and facilities”, as part of the long-running project which is expected to cost at least £41 million.

The changes detailed in the new plans, which supersede plans approved two and a half years ago, include:

• Splitting the building into separate primary and secondary school areas, with separate main receptions

• Removal of an interconnecting door in the wall between the two schools

• A new “pupil arrival court”, with benches, better access to cycle parking and a “safer area for pupils to gather or disperse” away from the pavement and road.

• Fewer car parking spaces, to accommodate the new arrival area – these will now total 138, including 27 visitor spaces

• A secure fenced-off route for deliveries

• Removal of an amphitheatre and playground canopy from the primary school plans

• Enclosing a plant area on top of the secondary school to form a fourth storey for the part of the building – the classrooms will still be contained in three storeys.

To meet low-energy Passivhaus requirements the school will have triple glazing, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, heat pumps and solar panels.

The council expects the plans to be approved between October and mid-November, depending on whether they are ‘called in’ for a committee to discuss or left to officers to consider.

They can be viewed on the planning section of the council’s website, by searching for application P23/02334/RVC.

The new secondary school and junior school were originally due to open last year but the date has been repeatedly moved back, and it is currently unclear whether they will be completed by 2025.

In June the council issued a statement reiterating its commitment to the project, along with that of the DfE and the two trusts, Olympus and CSET, which will run the secondary and primary schools respectively.

It blamed “conditions in the construction industry” for the delays and said: “Costs have risen significantly, which has meant that we and the DfE, who are providing most of the funding, have had to look again at the designs to make sure they provide the schools we need, but that they are also affordable.”

The council said it was asking its partners to “agree a realistic timeline” for the project and said it would provide another update in the autumn.