Welcome to the public consultation page for the exciting proposals for Elm Tree Primary Academy’s new campus on the site of the former Phoenix Collegiate School, Friar Park Road, Wednesbury.

A planning application for these proposals is due to be submitted to Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council shortly, and we are providing you with the opportunity to view and comment in advance of the submission.

The proposed development is being brought forward following Sandwell Council’s successful bid for a new special free school to meet the growing need for specialist school places for primary aged pupils with autism and associated learning difficulties. The new school is being designed and constructed by the Elliott Group, who value the input of the local community in developing the vision for the school and welcome your comments on the proposed development. Details of how to comment are provided below.

The Proposal

Elm Tree Primary Academy will be run by the Victoria Academies Trust and will be a primary special educational needs (SEN) school for pupils from ages 5 to 11 years with a diagnosis of Autism and Moderate Learning Difficulties.

Victoria Academies Trust is a Sandwell-based multi-academy trust which already leads three highly successful schools in Smethwick and have an excellent track record in supporting children with ASD through their specialist resource bases. Further information on the Trust can be found on their website –

The new primary school will complement High Point Academy, the new secondary special school, which is currently under construction on the southern part of the former Phoenix Collegiate site.

A series of plans and computer-generated images of the proposals are provided below. In summary, the school will comprise of a single, one-storey teaching block which will accommodate up to 126 pupils. The campus will also include areas of hard and soft landscaping, including a hard outdoor PE space and a habitat area.

The design team have worked closely with the Trust to ensure that the building and wider campus is functional and suitable for the needs of its pupils. The school building itself will house teaching spaces, dining areas and a main hall as well as specialist spaces such as sensory rooms and therapy rooms to cater to the individualised curriculum and needs of each child. The building is modern and simple in form and will be finished in a mixture of green and grey panelling. The materials and colours are indicated on the elevations available below.

The main vehicular and pedestrian access to the school site will be a shared access with the new High Point Secondary School off Friar Park Road. A new car park is also proposed to the west of the site, which will include minibus, cycle parking and a pick-up and drop-off area adjacent to the school’s main pupil entranceway.

The new school building will be of modular construction which delivers a number of sustainability benefits as well as significantly reducing on-site construction time and disruption when compared to traditional construction methods.

It is anticipated that construction of the school would commence shortly after planning approval is granted.

 Providing your Feedback

This project creates an opportunity to provide much needed educational facilities within the borough. 

We would welcome any feedback you may have on the proposed development. Please provide your comments using the Feedback Form below, entering your name, email address and comments (Please note, all feedback will be anonymous once submitted). A member of staff will log your comments and be able to answer any queries you may have.

If you would feel more comfortable providing written comments, please post your comments to: 

DPP, One Park Row, Leeds, LS1 5HN 

We will review your comments in partnership with the design team. 

Please submit your comments on or before 19th February 2021. 

Once the planning application has been submitted, full details will be available on Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council’s website and there will be a further opportunity to comment. 

We look forward to receiving your comments on the proposed development. 

Feedback Form

Please be aware that comments left on any public consultation exercise, either by email or any other means, are subject to the terms of our Privacy Policy. Please read this policy carefully as by submitting the information you are consenting to our use of your personal data in accordance with the Privacy Policy.

Your personal data will be retained on our secure database and will not be passed to our clients.

We may also like to contact you to keep you informed about future developments relating to this consultation. You will be able to opt-out of these communications at any time.

Aerial Image

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Proposed Site Plan

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Proposed Landscape Layout

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Proposed Ground Floor Plan

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Proposed Elevations – Sheet 1

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Proposed Elevations – Sheet 2

Download Proposed Elevations – Sheet 2

Proposed CGI

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Proposed CGI 2

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