Plans approved for “hellhole” school to be knocked down and re-built

A NEW, state-of-the-art Royton and Crompton School, costing £14 million, has been given the green light by Oldham Council planning committee.

It will be erected on the playing fields of the current site at Blackshaw Lane with the old 1960s built school demolished.

Both parts of the re-development work will be completed by 2019.

There will be no increase in pupil numbers from the present level of 1,200 and car parking will only rise from 113 to 115 through the provision of two new disabled bays.

However, unlike the controversial proposals to re-locate Saddleworth School from Uppermill to Diggle, there has been unanimous agreement over the Royton and Crompton plans.

Councillor Sean Fielding told Oldham Planning Committee: “Royton and Crompton needs a new school. I don’t see any reason to debate it and I move the recommendation.

Councillor Chris Gloster added: “Having attended that hellhole for five years, a long while ago when I thought it needed re-building then, I am more than happy to second it for it to be blown up and a new one built.”

Royton and Crompton deputy head, Nathan Bowker, said: “The new build will provide 55 new teaching spaces including purpose built technology, food, art studios and science laboratories.

“There will also be a number of large teaching and performance spaces such as an activity studio, a drama hall, a purpose built dining facility and a large assembly and performance hall with retractable seating.

“The new building will be complimented by the three school buildings that are retained under the scheme.

“Once the construction works are complete the demolition of the old buildings will begin and will result in a Sport England standard turfed pitch on the footprint of the old school.

“The build will create a purpose built, state of the art environment, to actively engage and inspire our students with teaching and learning at the heart of the decisions being made.”

The replacement is being provided as part of the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s Priority School Building Programme.

Galliford Try has been selected to deliver the project while the new block has been designed by architects AHR of Manchester.

Rachel Gillan, the agent acting for Galliford Try, addressed the Planning Committee at its October 25 meeting,

She said:”The EFA received over 1,200 expressions of interest for phase 2 of the programme andRoyton and Crompton was identified as one of 277 schools where the need was considered to be most acute.

 

“Those of you who know the main school building know it is not fit for purpose.

“It is in need of re-wiring, it has issues with heating and ventilation and the cladding and double glazing are in poor condition.

“These issues are compounded by the presence of asbestos which makes it difficult to undertake any repairs.

“The new school building will allow these issues to be remedied.

“The development will provide for a better teaching environment with modern facilities, interactive white boards in class rooms and the building will allow the introduction of Wi-Fi and new technology which will improve teaching delivery.

“The development will allow the school to operate in a more effective environment so room temperatures can be controlled and running costs will be significantly more efficient.

“The school will also provide for specialist class room areas plus improved science laboratories and prep areas.”

Ms Gillan confirmed the school will be fitted with solar panels and will have an improvement in site drainage.

She said the current drop-off and collection of children will stay the same.

“It represents a high quality development that will significantly improve the quality of education provision and character and appearance of the site,” she added.

Planning Committee chairman, Steve Bashforth, another former pupil, said: “I would have liked it slightly bigger but we can’t. But we want it so let’s get it started.”

Councillor Bashforth also urged officers to ensure sufficient acoustic screening for the benefit of local residents.

The application was unanimously approved.

 

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