Welcome to the public consultation website for the proposed school development to be known as Discovery Special Academy at the former Nature’s World site, Sandy Flatts Lane, Acklam, Middlesbrough, TS5 7YM.


DPP will shortly be submitting a planning application to Middlesbrough Council for this scheme, and we are providing you with the opportunity to view and comment on the scheme in advance of this submission. We are submitting the application on behalf of Interserve Construction Ltd.

In light of the Government’s advice regarding the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to consultant interested parties using a combination of online and offline methods, including a leaflet and letter drop and the creation of this online consultation website. This public consultation exercise is an opportunity for you to engage with our vision for the site and to provide us with valuable feedback which will help shape the future of the site.

As such, we ask for you to provide your views and comments on the proposals by email or post.

 The Proposal

The site formerly comprised an eco-centre, which ceased operation in 2013. The site has since been fenced off from public access and has remained vacant and become overgrown.

Interserve are now seeking to construct a special school which will accommodate 84 primary school children with severe learning difficulties and physical/medical needs. The school will provide school places for the Tees Valley Education Trust and for the 48 children currently using the Discovery Academy’s temporary accommodation unit at the Brambles School in Middlesbrough, as well as the 24 pupils enrolling into the Discovery Academy over the next two years (12 pupils in September 2020 and 12 pupils in September 2021).

The new school will offer a number of facilities to the pupils, including the following:

  • A multi-use games area;
  • An indoor multi-functional hall;
  • 2 x soft informal play and social areas;
  • 3 x hard-standing play areas; and
  • A soft PE area including sports pitch.

The site will utilise an in and out access for vehicles and pedestrians from Sandy Flatts Lane and sufficient vehicular and cycle parking will be provided for both staff and visitors. There will also be a secondary pedestrian footpath providing access into and out of the site at the south-western corner. Additionally, the site’s boundaries will be subject to planting to provide screening from the adjacent uses.

The proposal will bring a vacant site – located within a sustainable area of Middlesbrough – back into active use, whilst delivering additional special school places within the Borough and providing a high-quality development within the local area. The school will provide high quality specialist education provision for families, whilst ensuring that fewer children are required to travel outside of Middlesbrough for their education.

 Providing your feedback

We would welcome any feedback you may have on the proposed development. Please send any comments you may have by email to

Alternatively, please feel free to post your comments to:

DPP Planning, Milburn House, Dean Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1LF

Please submit your comments on or before 7th August 2020.

 Once the planning application has been submitted, full details will be available on Middlesbrough Council’s website.


Proposed Site Plan

Download Proposed Site Plan

Proposed View of Main Hall

Download Proposed View of Main Hall

Proposed Classrooms (View 1)

Download Proposed Classrooms (View 1)

Proposed Classrooms (View 2)

Download Proposed Classrooms (View 2)

Consultation Letter

Download Consultation Letter

Consultation Leaflet

Download Consultation Leaflet