Conlon lines up Stretford school project

Trafford Council is set to give the go-ahead to a 25,000 sq ft special educational needs school off Audley Avenue in Stretford, designed by Bowker Sadler Architecture with Conlon on board as main contractor.

The site is currently a vacant plot of land to the north of Audley Avenue, and is bounded by playing fields, Lostock Park, and residential properties near Junction 9 of the M60.

The proposals are for a special educational needs school for pupils aged between four and 11, along with associated access, parking, and landscaping.

The 25,000 sq ft school will have the capacity for a maximum of 96 pupils; there will be around 15 classrooms as well as a library, hall, staff rooms, and hydrotherapy pool. The main entrance to the building will be clad in green while the buildings will be clad in red brickwork.

The staff-to-pupil ratio will be around one-to-two, while the school’s curriculum will be focussed on creativity and sport.

There will be space for around 55 vehicles along with 14 cycle parking spaces, with access to be taken from an existing road that serves Barton Clough Primary School.

The development of the school is being supported by the Education & Skills Funding Agency and the Dunham Trust.

Trafford’s planning committee will discuss the proposals at a meeting next week, with planners putting forward a “minded to grant” recommendation, subject to a Section 106 agreement.

This will feature an £18,000 contribution towards improvements to the neighbouring Lostock Park.

The planners’ report said the loss of green space from building the school was “at odds” with Trafford planning policy, with the building causing “a moderate degree of harm to local residents, many of whom consider [the site] to be a valuable piece of land for children and dog walkers in particular”.

However, planners argued the benefits of delivering a new school would outweigh the harm to the users of the site, and the Section 106 agreement would help to offset the issues caused by building on green space.

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