Demolition of flats at police HQ set to be agreed to build new Northampton school

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Councillors are set to agree next week to approve the demolition of flats at the police headquarters in Wootton Hall Park to build a £200 million new school.

The flats, in Mereway, will be replaced by a three-storey building to accommodate a primary and secondary school, as well as Sixth Form students, if it is given the green light.

The new building will provide a permanent home for the 120 children already attending Wootton Hall Park School - based in a temporary building next to the police headquarters.

The planning application, by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, would also see the refurbishment of the existing sports pavilion and surrounding land used as school playing fields.

The ‘All-Through School’ would be home to 1,260 pupils aged four to 19 under one roof, with the 8,932 sqm building having primary school accommodation on the eastern side of the building and the secondary school accommodation located in the centre.

A substantial demand for places at the school means it is currently oversubscribed with a waiting list of more than 100 children for 2018-2019.

The new school would have 270 parking spaces, 50 of which would be on the northern part of the site while 220 would be in Wootton Hall Park in a redevelopment of the existing car park for the pavilion building.

Plans are also included for three football pitches and two multi-use game areas for students near the pavilion.

Three objections have been submitted by residents, although a previous application superseded by the current one attracted 12 objections. The main concerns were the current levels of traffic on Mereway, and that the park land would no longer be available to the community.

Planning officers have recommended the scheme is approved next Tuesday (July 3) at the planning committee of Northampton Borough Council, as long as a string of conditions are met.

These include widening the existing road and junction at Wootton Hall Park, building three new pedestrian crossings and extending the shared footway and cycleway.

It will also require a payment from the developers towards highway improvements at the Queen Eleanor roundabout.