Nutsford Vale School

Application in for controversial Nutsford Vale school

Charlie Schouten

A planning application has been submitted for a new 1,200-place school to be built by Laing O’Rourke on Nutsford Vale in Gorton, despite objections from local residents and councillors.

Manchester City Council is proposing the school in Gorton as part of its Educational Basic Needs Programme to address a shortage of school places across the city.

The project will include the construction of a steel-framed three-storey school building, a sports hall, parking, and sports pitches on the site off Matthews Lane, which was formerly a landfill and is now a park and community woodland space.

Laing O’Rourke, which is attached to the project as main contractor and principal designer, will construct the majority of the main school building using “off-site construction techniques”, according to planning documents.

Subject to planning approval, Laing O’Rourke aims to start on site in early 2018, and complete in summer 2019.

Previous schools built in this way by Laing O’Rourke in Greater Manchester include the 1,200-place Deans Trust school in Ardwick.

The professional team includes Ellis Williams as architect, Turley as planner, Ramboll as structural engineer, and Mott MacDonald as services engineer.

Following three public consultations, the size of the school has been reduced from 1,800 places to 1,200, and the height of the main building has been reduced from four storeys to three.

However, local residents are still aiming to halt the construction of the new school, and have launched a petition against developing on the land. The school is estimated to take up roughly one-third of the Nutsford Vale site.

Residents argued that the site, as a former landfill, was home to “domestic, commercial and industrial waste including hazardous chemical waste that may be carcinogenic, corrosive, and poisonous”, and said the site would be “unsafe” for children. there are also objections due to the loss of green space.

Local councillors, including Gorton representative Julie Reid, have also argued against the proposal.

According to planning documents and a remediation strategy prepared by Ramboll, Laing O’Rourke plans to replace top soil in soft landscaped areas with clean imported materials.

Laing O’Rourke added: “Mitigation measures for each environmental risk identified will be developed in a collaborative way, including relevant subcontractors and individuals carrying out the works to ensure suitable and practicable measures are put in place.

“Environmental performance will be continually assessed and improvements will be undertaken as required throughout the duration of the project.”

The school was approved by the council executive in December 2016, which had argued the site was the only council-owned land in central or north Manchester capable of providing the necessary number of school places for local children.

Your Comments

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How can you put children and teachers health at risk by building a school on poisonous land.
It’s just mad.

By Vincent

This school would be awful on this land as nearby residents the smell we still get some days off this land is terrible so imagine what the school would smell like plus the land is poisonous still

By Carol

Local residents will not understand the technicalities of land remidation and risk assessments so these objections should be given little weight, frankly. Also, why the reduction in height? It’s in the middle of a piece of open land, the building needs height to give to provide enclosure and a comfortable pedestrian environment. This is just NIMBYISM.

By Neighbourhood watch

..replace the soil with healthy soil I’ve heard it all now you gonna put future kids safety in danger REALLY! pathetic!

By Anthony

There are plenty of pockets of unused land around the city, why build a school on land where there is risk to pupils and residents. As a local I am also concerned that the surrounding area will become a car park/pick up zone – cars mounting pavements, parking in all the streets off Matthews Lane where there is already a saturation of cars. Please, please stop this!

By Hannah

Please no schools near me.

By Gorton Resident

NIMBYs out in force

By Nordyne

It does sound like residents are using the land contamination issue as a cover for nimbyism.

The city needs a school and if this is the best site then so be it. It sounds like it will massively improve this bit of ugly scrubland anyway.

By Anon

I wonder if a school would be built on land like this in Didsbury?

By Elephant

Shouldn’t the council first of all concentrate on the brand new local school that is a stones throw away. The school that according to their recent Ofsted report “requires improvement” the school that is undersubscribed as no right thinking local would dream of sending their children there. The school that at one point “could not guarantee the safety of it’s staff and pupils.” The school that has required an Ofsted inspection every year for the last 4 years due to seious concerns! Sort out one problem before you create another one MCC!!!
This is in addition to the fact that a new housing estate including family homes and flats has recently been erected over the road (Mount Road) the traffic situation is already at breaking point. Matthews Lane & Mount Rd also have traffic from the Grange School also located on Matthews Lane. Not going into the fact of the toxins within the land the polution levels for local residents & their children must be atrocious with all this extra traffic…no more PLEASE!!

By Anon

Matthews Lane is not conducive to any further increase of traffic that this school will produce. There will not be enough space for the coaches to park, without hindering through traffic and
bottle necks will occur when trying to get out onto Mount road and Stockport road (its bad enough now)

By Geoff Schofield

This proposal is just madness. I can guarantee that not one of these people agreeing with this live in the area. Mount Rd will end up as a car park. Its bad enough now. Lets fill the kids lungs with even more fumes. I’m sure they will thank us in years to come.

By Paul Gould

Manchester needs more school places. This seems to be as good a location as any. Ignore the selfish NIMBYIsim and get it built.

By NIMBY watch