The replacement school buildings for Astley Community High and Whytrig Middle Schools


Northumberland County Council is proposing to replace the Astley Community High School and Whytrig Middle School buildings in Seaton Delaval.

Members of the local community, school staff, parents and carers are invited to view the design proposals and provide feedback prior to submission of the planning application.

The Site

The site comprises of land located north of The Avenue in Seaton Delaval. It extends to approximately 12.62 hectares (31.18 acres) and currently comprises agricultural/grazing land with trees and hedgerows along its boundaries. The site is bound by New Hartley Ponds Nature Reserve, rail line and residential properties to the north, agricultural land to the east, and The Avenue (A190) to the south with residential properties on the other side and further residential dwellings to the west.

The site is not located within a Conservation Area, however, its southern border forms part of the Seaton Delaval Conservation Area, and the southern tree boundary is within the Seaton Delaval Park and Garden Grade II* listing. Although, Seaton Delaval Hall itself is located approximately 1.9km away to the northeast.
The site lies within Flood Zone 1, as such, it is at very low risk of flooding from sea or river water. In terms of flooding from surface water, it is also at very low risk.

It is also proposed that the former Whytrig Middle School on Western Avenue will be utilised for staff parking and pick-up and drop-off.

The Proposed Development

It is proposed that the new school buildings will be the first Net Zero Carbon school in Northumberland. As well as improving the teaching and learning environment for current and future pupils in the schools, improvements to the on-site sporting and community facilities will benefit the wider Seaton Valley community. The enhanced facilities include:

• A new swimming pool for the schools and the local community.
• A Floodlight 3G full size Rugby/Football pitch
• Two Multi Use Games Areas (MUGAs) split between the two schools providing 7 tennis courts in total
• Three 5 a side grass football pitches
• Three 7 a side grass football pitches
• Two 9 a side grass football pitches
• Two full size grass football pitches
• Forest school
• SEN specific facilities to include pupils in mainstream education where appropriate.
• Off site parking providing staff parking as well as the opportunity for parent drop off and pick up

The rationale for the Proposed Development has been founded on Seaton Valley Federation’s desire to provide a financially and educationally secure future for its schools and the need for significant capital investment in the school estate. The scheme will improve the teaching and learning environment for current and future pupils in the school, including on-site sporting and community facilities that would also benefit the Seaton Valley community as a whole.

A new build school for Astley High School and Whytrig Middle School has been earmarked since 2016 due to the condition need of the building with £15.7m backlog of maintenance repairs. The buildings are in the greatest need for replacement when compared to the rest of the local authority-maintained school estate; it also has a high level of asbestos making repairs and maintenance extremely difficult and even impossible in some areas without closing large areas of the school.

The proposed new education facility includes the erection of a U-shaped symmetrical building, adjacent to The Avenue (A190) a sports hall including a swimming pool to the north of the school building and the provision of a number of different football pitches, 7 MUGA courts, cricket rounders, and running track to the north and east of the school building; alongside with landscaping, on-site parking and access. Whilst the formation of additional off-site parking and access is proposed at the former Whytrig Middle School Site located on Western Avenue.

The proposed school building is to be two storeys high. The high school and middle school are to be separated on each side of the building with shared kitchen and dining areas in the middle of the new building. The high school is proposed to be located in the western half while the middle school is on the eastern side.

The masterplan for the site is being developed by Ryder Architecture and One-Environment. The proposed teaching room layouts and sizes are derived from the different needs of middle and high school classes. Whilst the overall masterplan seeks to create a holistic campus environment set in a student-friendly green environment.

The Proposed site plan and further details on the proposals can be found HERE.

A planning application for the proposals is due to be submitted in Summer 2022.

Have your say

We would welcome your thoughts on the proposals ahead of submission of the planning application. There will also be a further opportunity to comment once the planning application has been submitted.

A consultation event is being held on Tuesday 12th July from 6pm until 8pm and the design and project team will be available to answer any questions and there is an opportunity to leave your comments.

If you are unable to attend the event, please use the feedback form below to submit any comments. Alternatively, comments can be emailed to or posted to:

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

Please submit your comments by Tuesday 19th July 2022.

Feedback Form

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