Ellis Williams has designed the school intended for Cheadle Hulme. Credit: planning documents

SEN schools proposed in Tameside and Stockport

Plans have been lodged for a new special needs secondary school in Cheadle Hulme and to move Audenshaw’s Hawthorns School to a new site in Mottram in Longdendale.

Pear Tree School, Cheadle Hulme

Spatial Initiative is seeking permission to develop the Pear Tree SEN school on the 3.9-acre site of the former Orrishmere Primary School on Worcester Road.

NTA Planning and Ellis Williams Architects are working with the applicant on plans that involve the demolition of existing buildings on site, to be replaced by a part one- and part-two storey building to house a special educational needs secondary school with landscaping, play space, multi-use games area and parking.

The professional team also includes Pegasus, Caulmert, Banyards, Mott MacDonald, Cundall, Space Invader, EVR Consulting, TEP and Stroma.

Orrishmere School closed in 2015, with a day nursery then occupying the site until 2021. While the previous buildings take up 15,000 sq ft, the new facility will come in at 34,786 sq ft.

The project is funded by the DfE under its offsite framework, following a successful application by Stockport Council, and will be delivered by Spatial Initiative, a SEN school specialist contractor.

The school’s capacity will be 133 pupils when fully used and will be operated by the Prospere Learning Trust. In its planning statement, NTA said that Stockport Council does not currently provide enough SEN spaces, with pupils having to travel out of the borough.

Hawthorns School, Tameside

Currently operating in Audenshaw, the Hawthorns School is struggling with capacity, leading to plans for a relocation to the 12-acre Longdendale playing fields, off Manley Grove in Mottram. The site sits next to the A57 Hyde Road and a leisure centre.

The project is being taken through planning by Stantec for applicant Robertson Construction North West.

The proposal is for an expanded school of 43,460 sq ft, with full size grass playing pitch and a smaller 3G pitch, parking, landscaping and other infrastructure.

The Hawthorns School provides primary education and is part of the New Bridge Multi Academy Trust, which operates six such schools in north and east Greater Manchester.

Stantec’s planning statement describes the existing Audenshaw site as dated and too small. As of September 2021, the school had 133 pupils, 58 more than its desired capacity. A feasibility study concluded that a new purpose-built site for 220 pupils is the optimal outcome for the school.

JM Architects has designed the scheme, with DTPC producing a travel plan and transport advice. The professional team also includes GRM Development Solutions, Dunelm Ecology, Hoare Lea, Redmore, DEP and Energy Counsel.

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