INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the public consultation page for a proposed development to support the expansion of the existing Kingston Park Primary School from a two form entry to a three form entry primary school. Initial design proposals for the expansion of the school by one form of entry were first prepared in 2019 and presented to wider stakeholders, including a public consultation event which was held at the school on 14th November 2019. In response to feedback from local residents and other stakeholders the proposals have since gone through some further development to arrive at the currently proposed scheme.

Kingston Park Primary School is one of a group of eight primary schools in Newcastle upon Tyne, with a shared collective vision for excellence in education, which formed the SMART multi-academy trust (SMART MAT). Together these schools work collaboratively to develop innovative approaches to curriculum planning that will stimulate children and motivate them to love learning within safe, vibrant and nurturing school communities.

Almost 800 new houses are planned at Kenton Bank Foot by 2030. A feasibility study completed by Newcastle City Council in 2016 identified that to meet the increased need for primary age pupil places in the local area, expansion of Kingston Park Primary School was the only viable option. The school is approximately equidistant to each of the four housing developments and within 5-10 minutes walking distance of the centre of each site. Currently more than 200 new homes are now complete and occupied and it is anticipated that additional school places at Kingston Park Primary School will be required from September 2023.

THE SITE

The site comprises Kingston Park Primary School and is located approximately five miles north-west of Newcastle city centre. It is situated on the north-western edge of existing residential areas and is also bound to the south by the Metro line, whilst an extensive area of public open space is situated to the east. Newcastle City Council has recently completed the construction of a new Sport England standard playing pitch immediately to the east of the school which will be ready for use by the school and the local community from Summer 2023.

PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT

The proposals for the expansion of the existing school comprise a new ‘standalone’ classroom block for nursery and reception age children, and an extension to the front of the existing building to provide improved staff and administration accommodation. In addition there will be some internal remodelling of the open plan teaching area within the existing building. The proposals are designed to be robust and innovative and to support and enhance the school’s collaborative and inclusive approach to learning. Opportunities for community use of the schools’ facilities will be enhanced by the provision of a new, easily accessible community room within the new build as well as the new playing pitch.

The proposed external landscaping will maximise the provision of open space and the development is supported by enhanced sports and outdoor play facilities. The car park is to be reconfigured to increase provision, whilst accessible parking spaces have been maintained close to the main entrance. The total number of spaces to be provided on site is 65, including five accessible spaces. The number of cycle parking spaces will also be increased. There will be no change to the existing off-site arrangements for parent drop off and pick up, so there will continue to be no parent parking allowed on site.

Due to constraints including surface water flooding risk, the new, standalone building will be partially located on an area of existing playing fields which has been established as the only feasible location for the development. The construction of the new playing pitch to the east of the site school will compensate for the loss of any existing playing field within the current school site, alongside improvements to playing field drainage and improvement to the school’s community use offer.

The core school day operates from 8:55 to 15:20, with some pupils attending breakfast and after school clubs before the beginning and/or after the end of the school day. Community access to the school’s facilities will be managed by the school via a Community Use Agreement, details of which are to be developed in due course. To support the Trust’s and the school’s ambition to be a centre for community use at the heart of the local community, the school envisages the following hours of operation for community use of the school’s sports facilities outside the core hours, commencing in September 2023:

Proposed Times of Operation

Monday to Friday

  • Sports Hall: 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • School Field: 6:00pm-8:00pm

Saturday

  • Sports Hall: 9:00am-3:00pm
  • School Field: 9:00am-1:00pm

Sunday

  • Sports Hall: 9:00am-3:00pm
  • School Field: 9:00am-1:00pm

The development proposals are designed to be robust and innovative and to support the modern and collaborative methods of learning envisaged by the school, striving to create an exceptional facility for SMART Multi Academy Trust, the school’s pupils and staff and the wider community.

The redevelopment of Kingston Park Primary School will play a large part in facilitating and supporting the ongoing sustainable growth and development of the outer west of Newcastle Upon Tyne, whilst at the same time significantly improving the vitality and appearance of a strategic site within the local community.

A planning application for the proposals was submitted to the Newcastle City Council Development Control on 23rd August 2021. The full submission can be viewed on the Council’s Public Access website: https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/services/planning-building-and-development/search-view-and-comment-planning-applications

The proposed plans and visuals are included below.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (F.A.Q.s)

Below are a series of frequently asked questions: 

Background to proposals for additional school provision in the Outer West and North West of the City

There has been significant growth in the pupil population in Newcastle in recent years, particularly in the primary school population. This has been a result of increasing birth rates, inward migration to the city and the increased success and popularity of Newcastle schools.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure sufficient school places to meet the needs across their area. As the population in the city grows, this puts pressure on school places, especially in the most popular schools and areas. The availability of school places will be further impacted by the large-scale housing development planned across the city.

There are substantial planned family housing developments now under construction in the Outer West and North of the city, including in areas where there are very few available school places. What spare capacity exists in the local schools will fill up as houses are occupied and families grow, requiring additional school places to be created.

In line with Newcastle City Council’s School Organisation Principles to “Work collaboratively with Newcastle schools, Trusts and partner organisations to develop the right, creative solutions for the city and local communities now and in the future”, the Council has been working with local schools and academy trusts to expand schools close to these housing developments or, where this is not feasible or sufficient, to establish new schools. Kingston Park Primary School was proposed for expansion in 2018 and the City Council has been working with the school and SMART Academy Trust to develop these proposals.

The Need for Additional School Places & The Proposal to Expand Kingston Park Primary School:

  1. Why is there a need for more primary school places in this area of the city?

Proposed new housing developments in this area, which now have planning approval and some of which already have developers on site will put pressure on primary school places in parts of the planning area within the next 2 years.

The estimated pupil yield from new housing planned at Kenton Bank Foot is for around 230 additional primary age pupils from almost 800 planned houses, with a minimum of 75% of these required to be family homes. Currently more than 200 of these new homes are now complete and occupied with more than half due to be completed in the next two years. There will not be sufficient local primary places to meet demand once these houses are built and occupied.

  1. Why expand Kingston Park Primary School?

Kingston Park Primary School is the closest school to the planned housing developments at Kenton Bank Foot and is consistently full to capacity.

Following feasibility work to assess the potential for expansion at this school, it was proposed to expand the pupil numbers at the school from a 2 Form Entry (FE) school (420 pupils) to a 3 FE school (630 pupils) – through a combination of a new build block, and a small extension to and internal remodelling of the existing school building.

  1. When would the building of the extension begin and when will the additional places become available?

Subject to obtaining planning approval, construction work will commence at the end of the year, with completion anticipated in September 2023.

The exact timing of the formal expansion of the school is affected by:

  • Approval of proposals by the Department for Education and the Regional Schools Commissioner
  • Continued monitoring and analysis of projected school place needs resulting from planned housing developments
  • The rate of housing development and occupation
  • Planning approval for the expansion of the school

Approval Process for the School’s Expansion

  1. What decision making processes have the proposals already been through?

In November 2016, Newcastle City Council’s Cabinet approved the principles of a programme to provide additional primary and secondary school places in the outer west and north of the city, including the expansion of Kingston Park Primary School.

In February 2019, approval was sought and granted by Cabinet for officers to progress plans for the delivery of the expanded schools, through the procurement of a construction contractor.

  1. Who has the final say as to whether the formal expansion can go ahead?

As Kingston Park Primary School is an Academy, SMART Academy Trust will be required to submit a business case to the Regional Schools Commissioner (who act on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education) to gain approval to proceed with the expansion (as specified in the Department for Education’s guidance document ‘Making Significant Changes to an Open Academy’).

Impacts of the Proposed Expansion of the School:

  1. Will the expansion to the school impact its academy status?

Kingston Park Primary School will continue to be part of the SMART Multi-Academy Trust and the expansion will be conducted in line with the Department for Education (DfE) guidance on making significant changes to an existing academy.

  1. Will the admissions arrangements to the school change?

The school will continue to provide primary education from Reception to Year 6, with additionally resourced provision for pupils with physical disabilities and will continue to provide 26 FTE nursery places.

The admissions policy must meet the requirements of the statutory Admissions Code, including over-subscriptions criteria that would be applied if there are more applications than places available. It is expected that the admissions policy of the expanded school will be unchanged from the current arrangements.

Numbers and admissions arrangements for places at the Additional Resource Centre will not be impacted by the proposed expansion.

  1. Will there be sufficient secondary places for pupils progressing from Kingston Park following its expansion?

Kingston Park Primary School is currently a designated feeder school to Kenton Academy.  The admissions criteria for Kenton Academy are the responsibility of Kenton Academy Trust but we are not aware of any proposed changes to their feeder school arrangements at the current time.

Given that Kenton Academy is already an extremely large secondary school, there are no plans to increase its size on a permanent basis. However, there are proposals for a new secondary school, Callerton Academy, to meet the need for additional secondary places from population and housing growth across the Outer West and North Central planning areas of the City. The site of the new school is on land adjacent to Simonside Primary School. As required by national government policy, it will be a free school, established by Gosforth Group Multi Academy Trust and delivered by the Department for Education under the Free Schools Programme.

  1. Who will fund and build the extension to the Kingston Park?

Some funding has already been secured from education contributions from planned housing developments through S106 agreements. These will be used to fund the expansion of the school and will be supplemented by the City Council’s Basic Need funding.

The Academy will need to submit a business case to the Department of Education for approval, detailing the rationale for the proposed expansion and how the proposed developments will be funded.

The City Council will appoint a contractor to deliver the school extension and remodelling alongside a number of other school projects.

Site & Planning Information:

  1. How will the construction process and site traffic be managed?

As part of the planning approval process the construction contractor will need to submit and seek the planning authority’s approval for a ‘Construction Management Plan (CMP)’. This will include details of the contractor’s proposed site set up such as the location of site welfare facilities and storage areas, construction access and working and delivery times. It will be a condition of any planning approval that the CMP must be submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority before any building work can start on site and working and delivery hours will be restricted.

In addition, the Council requires any contractor to be a member of the Considerate Constructors Scheme and to adhere to the schemes Code of Considerate Practice which includes requiring contractors to ‘give utmost consideration to their impact on neighbours and the public’ and to inform, respect and show courtesy to those affected by the work.

  1. What arrangements will there be to manage the increase in traffic and parking requirement once the school expansion is complete?

We understand that parking/drop off arrangements are important to get right when new or extended schools are being planned. Arrangements must be safe and should not result in unacceptable effects on residents living in nearby streets. With this in mind, work has been underway with local highways officers to consider the impact of the school expansion proposals, and several transport surveys and studies have been undertaken by consultants.

All parent drop-off and parking facilities will continue to be provided away from the school site, either at the Kingston Park Stadium car park or Kingston Park Metro Park and Ride car park, or a combination of the two. The details of this are to be finalised but will include a vehicle registration and permit system for parents which will be managed by the school. A small number of additional staff parking spaces will be provided on site through reconfiguration of the existing car park.

As part of the planning process the school will be required to develop and maintain a School Travel Plan which will include setting out how more sustainable modes of travel will be encouraged and implemented. Additional secure bike and scooter storage will be provided to support this.

Community Impact:

  1. Will there be any impact upon surrounding open space?

There will be no impact on the current adjacent public open space at Kingston Green

The recently completed new grass playing pitch adjoining the school site will be ready for use by Summer 2023 when the school will become responsible for managing and maintaining it.

Public access to the new sports pitch will be guaranteed through a Community Use Agreement with the school, which will be secured through the planning process.

  1. What other impact(s) will there be for the local community?

We are aware there has been past flooding in and around the school site. Specialist consultants have undertaken extensive flood modelling and liaison with the Local Lead Flood Authority (LLFA) at NCC and Northumbrian Water. The current proposals incorporate flood resilience measures to mitigate against future flooding and ensure there is no increase in flood risk to the surrounding area as a result of these development.

The school is keen to make its facilities available to the local community outside of school hours. Details of a new Community Use Agreement are to be finalised, but. will include use of the new community room, and the existing hall, gym and changing rooms as well as the new sports pitch.

HAVE YOUR SAY

We would welcome your thoughts on the proposals.

Please use the feedback form below to submit any comments. Alternatively, comments can be emailed to consultation@dppukltd.com or posted to:

DPP, Studio 012, Haylofts, St Thomas Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LE.

Please submit your comments by 12pm on Wednesday 15th September 2021.


VISUAL 1

VISUAL 2

VISUAL 3

VISUAL 4

LOCATION PLAN

PROPOSED SITE PLAN

PROPOSED GA PLAN – EXISTING SCHOOL

PROPOSED GA PLAN – NEW BUILD

PROPOSED GA ELEVATONS – NEW BUILD

CONSULTATION LEAFLET

PRESENTATION BOARDS

Do you support the proposal to expand Kingston Park Primary School, given the need for additional school places which will result from planned housing development in the area? Please provide your answer and reasoning in the feedback form below. Please also state in what capacity you have an interest in this project, e.g. Parent/Carer, Local Resident, Member of Staff etc. 

Feedback Form

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