The Orchards School site, Farnworth, Bolton Council, P, planning docs

Bolton Council is reconfiguring The Orchards school site in Farnworth. Credit: via planning docs

Bolton signs off £8m school additions and junction improvements

An increase in the number of places available at The Orchards Green Fold Special School and the Cherry Tree School, off Highfield Road in Farnworth, will be created as a result of single-storey side extensions.

The authority has also struck a S106 agreement worth £400,000 with the Harworth Group for junction improvements related to the Logistics North development.

School extensions

Bolton Council’s planning committee approved proposals submitted by the authority, to increase SEND places available at the upper and lower schools based at the site.

Plans for the Green Fold lower school included alterations to access and parking areas, and the installation of boundary fencing and gates.

Measuring 2,000 sq ft, the purpose of the extension is to accommodate 85 special needs pupils, an increase of 23 on the current number, and the relocation of 83 nursery age pupils to the upper school.

As part of the reconfiguration two classroom spaces, quiet rooms, and a hygiene suite will be created.

At the Cherry Tree upper school, there will be a side extension measuring 7,800 sq ft and a multi-use games area.

The current mainstream nursery at the Green Fold site will be moved to Cherry Tree, enabling the lower site to become solely for the Autistic Spectrum Disorder Unit, which in turn will allow for more special needs children places at both sites.

A single-storey extension at Cherry Tree will house two reception classrooms, a couple of nursery areas, a nursery entrance, a high needs classroom, and a special needs classroom.

Current playground space will be divided using fencing to create dedicated play areas for the added nursery classroom spaces. The MUGA will replace the external play space lost to the extension.

The authority estimates the cost of the extensions to be £8.6m, supported with funding from the department of education.

K2 Architects, Rachel Hacking Ecology, Hann Tucker Associates, Tree Solutions, and WML Consulting are all involved on the project team on the Green Fold school application.

To view the Green Fold plans, search for reference number 17829/24 on Bolton Council’s planning portal.

The same project team is involved in the Cherry Tree school plans, which can be viewed by searching for reference number 17830/24 on the portal.

Section 106 agreement

At the same meeting last week the council’s planning committee agreed to receive a six-figure sum from the Harworth Group to enable junction improvements to take place as a result of the Logistics North development.

To improve provision for pedestrians and cyclists, a toucan crossing will be added at Plodder Lane (West), a longer length of cycle lane will be created on Watergate Lane, and an off-carriageway cycleway will be introduced on Plodder Lane (East).

When the logistics development was initially approved a decade ago, there was a condition in place that the developer would undertake off-site junction improvement work.

This year the Harworth Group applied to vary this, pledging funds for an alternative scheme which includes active travel elements.

The proposal has been accepted by Bolton Council and will see the developer pay £394,894 to implement the scheme.

Johnson Mowat Planning and Development Consultants has led this application on behalf of the Harworth Group.

To view the plans, search for reference number 18131/24 on Bolton Council’s planning portal.

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