Hawthorns School Robertson

JM Architects has designed the building. Credit: planning documents

Tameside approves SEND school relocation

Robertson Construction North West has secured the go-ahead to build a 43,460 sq ft school off the A57 in Mottram.

The approval, in line with officer recommendation, means the Hawthorns School will be able to relocate to the 12-acre site from Audenshaw, where it is operating beyond capacity.

The Hawthorns School provides primary education for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities and is part of the New Bridge Multi Academy Trust, which operates six schools in north and east Greater Manchester.

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

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

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.

Committee members agreed with officers that the need for the school outstripped the playing fields’ status as protected green space, given that the site is longer in use for that purpose, and that the community will be able to use the improved facilities outside of school hours.

Tameside’s planning reference for the application is 22/00678/FUL.

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