Proposals for a new teaching block at King James’s School, Almondbury
Welcome to our public consultation page for the exciting proposals for a new 10 classroom teaching block at King James’s School, Almondbury.
A planning application for the proposal is due to be submitted to Kirklees Council shortly, and we are providing you with the opportunity to view and comment in advance of the submission. The project team, led by Kirklees Council’s Capital Delivery Team, value the input of the local community and would welcome your comments on the proposed development. Details of how to comment are provided below.
In July 2019, Kirklees Council approved plans to close the secondary phase of Almondbury Community School (ACS).
As an education authority, Kirklees Council has a statutory duty to ensure that there are sufficient places in the district in order to provide fair access to high standards of education. The priority of Kirklees Council is to help children and young people fulfil their potential, to have the best start in life and to benefit from excellent standards of care and education, both now and in the future.
With the closure of the secondary phase of ACS, there is now a requirement for its existing pupils to be accommodated within other schools within the surrounding area, including King James’s, Netherhall Learning Campus High School (NLCHS) and to Newsome High. The majority of the existing ACS pupils live within the Almondbury area and in close proximity of King James’s. As such, King James’s represents the best, closest and most sustainable location for these existing pupils to attend school.
The closure of the secondary phase at ACS also means that Priority Admission Areas (PAA) for the primary schools that formerly fed into ACS have been amended. As part of these changes, Almondbury Community School (Primary Phase) and All Hallows’ CE (VA) Primary School’s primary catchment areas will become part of King James’s School’s PAA. This means King James’s School will now better serve the Almondbury community in which it is based.
The need to accommodate the existing secondary cohort of ACS and the agreed amendments to the PAA of nearby primary schools resulted in the Kirklees’ Cabinet’s decision to create an additional 150 secondary places at the King James school, based on 30 additional pupils per 5 school years.
The proposed development will deliver a new, modern teaching block in order to accommodate the teaching of an additional 150 pupils. The proposals will also replace several temporary classroom blocks currently situated on the school site and will remove King James’s reliance on buildings that are no longer fit for purpose. The ethos of King James’s School is built around its distinguished history; a holistic provision to developing students both academically and pastorally; and high expectations and aspirations. The new teaching block will help to support these ambitions and improve the education provision within area.
A series of plans and computer generated images of the proposals are provided below. In summary, the two storey building will be situated within the existing school campus, to the west of the existing school buildings and immediately south of land currently occupied by temporary units. The building itself will house 10 classrooms, breakout spaces to support additional needs facilities as well as staff and administrative spaces.
The building is simple in form, and although still under consideration, is likely to be finished in a buff brick with feature panels of stone. In designing the new school, the architects have worked closely with the school and officers of the Council in order to integrate the building into the existing topography and built form of the campus. Landscaping is proposed around the building to assist with its assimilation into the site and provide a social spaces for pupils.
Vehicular and pedestrian access into the school site will remain as existing with access to the staff car park off St Helen’s Gate and access to the bus turnaround and additional parking provided at the south east corner of the site, near to the junction of St Helen’s Gate and Arkenley Lane. It is anticipated that an additional 12 members of staff will be employed in order to ensure the school retains it high teaching standards.
Additional parking provision is proposed within the bus turnaround and parking area in order to provide sufficient parking spaces for the additional staff. The project’s transport consultants are working closely with the Council’s highways officers in preparing a transport assessment that will address all traffic and transport matters and identify any necessary mitigation measures. A school travel plan is also being prepared as part of the proposals and will set out various measures to discourage car use and promote sustainable travel habits.
We would welcome any feedback you may have on the proposed development. Please send any comment you may have to Tamara.Ettenfield@dppukltd.com who will log your comments and answer any questions you may have.
Alternatively, if you prefer not to use a computer, please feel free to post your comments to:
DPP, One Park Row, Leeds, LS1 5HN
We would appreciate your comments on or before the 28th July 2020.
Once the planning application has been submitted, full details will be available on the Kirklees Council website and there will be a further opportunity to comment.
We look forward to receiving your comments on the proposed development.