Councillors will try to combine old empty school into new building plans

By Amelia Eguchi-Wale


Residents’ fears that the empty Grade two building on the old Pye Bank school site could be demolished were put to rest yesterday.

Plans have been given the “go ahead”  to build a through school (aged 2-18) on the old Pye Bank school site, in response to increasing demand for school places.

Residents were told in last night’s cabinet meeting in Shirecliffe that councillors will do “everything” to incorporate the old school in the new designs.

The old building has been disused for a number of years.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families, said the building is “a real landmark.”

She added: “We would do everything we could to protect it.”

Councillor Drayton said: “The school will be up and built by 2018.”

Thousands of people got involved in the consultation process for a number of schools, including the one on Andover Street, and the response was one of the biggest the council has ever seen.

The council carried out workshops, meetings and visits to schools. The council also held additional workshops after adding in further options which people said they wanted to see.

Councillor Drayton added: “We have always said we want parents, carers, governors and the community to help us in driving this and today’s recommendations reflect this.”

“People will be involved and workshops will be held.”

Plans for a new secondary school on the car park area of the Bannerdale site have also been “given the go ahead.”

Councillor Drayton said: “Our vision is to create excellent new local schools that parents want their children to go to. The population forecasts show if we don’t act now and start building these schools soon, children will be unable to get into local schools as there simply won’t be enough places for everyone.”

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