Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College Expansion Proposals

Closed 15 May 2020

Opened 5 May 2020

Results Updated 2 Jun 2020

Update 1 June

The BTHCC planning application has now been validated. The planning application number is 100763/FUL/20 – click here to visit the planning portal in order to view it

 

Update 5 May

Due to the current lockdown situation as a result of Covid-19, we are not asking you to gather at the school but instead to view the updated plans via this site. 

Since the last update the design team has been working on an onsite solution. The following plans show the location of the new block on the current recreation area at the front of the school. The block consists of a sports hall and changing room with a 3 storey classroom block behind it. The recreation area has been relocated at the back of the school. A number of parking spaces have also been relocated to accommodate the block. The buses will still pick up on site – however only one bus at a time can be accommodated.

View the plans detailed across 5 pages;

Page 1 – Proposed location Plan

Outlines the location of the works on the school site and also shows where student recreation areas are to be relocated.

Page 2 – Why do we need this building at BTH

Describes the background to the project and that the latest plans are based on an onsite location. The construction and delivery timeline may also be affected by Covid-19 restrictions which are stated at the bottom of the page.

Page 3 - Movement and Access Plan

The blue outline shows the school site boundary and the red line shows the areas that will be affected by the development. To reduce disruption to students as much as possible, the teaching and sports hall block is contained in one area of the site rather than split over two areas. This also contains construction traffic to one entrance rather than affecting two entrances and disturbing two sets of neighbours. A row of carpark spaces have been relocated next to the existing sports area and a bus waiting and turning area has been created next to the 6th form building.

Page 4 - Proposed New Building Page

This plan details the internal layout of each of the three floors; Ground floor -  consists of the sports hall, changing rooms, two classrooms, a toilet block and office/reception for out of hours sports hall use - which will be managed by the school. Each changing area can accommodate 68 students; therefore 4 classes at a time can be getting ready for a PE session. First Floor - contains 5 classrooms and a breakout area (a flexible space for use by staff or students), a toilet block and storage. All classrooms have external windows. Second floor - contains 7 classrooms and 3 self-contained single WCs. Again all classrooms have external windows as the third floor extends above the height of the Sports Hall roof.

Page 5 – Proposed indicative Visuals page

This plan shows visuals (artists impressions) of the new block from different angles. The design team have put the lower Sports Hall building at the front so residents’ privacy is maintained and the taller classroom block at the back. The sports hall mass is broken up with a copper effect cladding to the upper part which connects it to the existing buildings on the site (6th form and E-learning centre) and also has the effect of blending into the sky when viewed from ground level.

 

There were many concerns raised about the traffic and congestion around the site at the first consultation. These have been raised with the Highways team and may result in traffic management initiatives following the construction of the new block.

The planning application is due to be submitted in the next few weeks, where further opportunities to comment will be available through the formal planning process. The planning application number and link will be provided here when it is available.

If planning permission is granted, the Contractor will inform residents when work is due to start and the expected timescales since the construction programme may be affected by the Covid-19 restrictions.

If there is anybody else that you feel should see the proposals – please pass on the details of this update.

Have Your Say

 

Consultation Feedback Summary

The consultation evening was attended by 57 people. We received 140 written comments in total.

 

Out of the 140 comments received:

99 were positive about the need for the additional buildings and expressed a preference for an option.

81 preferred option 3 – building on open space off Urban Road / Welman Way

19 preferred option 2 – building on the existing site in two blocks

12 preferred option 1 – building on the existing site in one block

 

A number of common themes were expressed by those in favour and those against the proposal.

 

Consultees in favour of the proposal appreciated the lack of space on the existing site and were against the loss of the main external pupil recreation area and bus waiting area. Pupils were keen on the proposal with least disruption to their studies and residents could see option 3 would be least disruptive to residents in the surrounding roads.

 

Consultees against the proposal were opposed to the school exceeding their capacity, were opposed to the loss of public open space if the option 3 was chosen, but by far the most concern was raised over the current and future traffic and congestion issues faced by residents due to parent parking, school buses and Sports Academy parking. Residents expressly mentioned the recent sale of Balmoral Car Park which has added to the issues.

 

Confirmed location

Since the consultation closed on 5 February, Executive Members and Senior Council Officers have considered all the consultation responses and the pros and cons of each location option. After much deliberation it is felt that although Option 3 ticked many boxes, there are legal complexities which create risk that could seriously impact the programme if pursued. Therefore only an onsite option is considered realistically deliverable. The design team is now working on an onsite solution which will be made available at a further consultation evening prior to the submission of a planning application in the next month or so.

Frequently asked questions

The following frequently asked questions and comments have been responded to;

School drop off traffic and parking

Residents’ concerns were around parents parking on surrounding roads often blocking resident’s access to their properties.

Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College has a high number of students who walk or use public transport to travel to school (currently 86%), therefore the number of car journeys made by parents is lower than at most other schools. However, the school are well aware of the issues raised by residents and as part of their Green Flag Eco Schools Plan, they are actively looking to reduce the number of car journeys which will improve the situation as well as reducing the litter on the school site and in surrounding areas.

Depending upon where the building is located during the design phase, the design team will look to see what traffic mitigation measures can be put in place through potential Traffic Regulation Orders to minimise the impact on residents during construction. The design team have already started discussions with the Highways team to look at improving the current situation with the potential for; zig zags, signage, double yellow lines, parking restrictions, one way systems etc. We would look to support highways works after the construction phase.

School buses

Residents were concerned that on site options would involve moving school bus pick up and drop off onto the surrounding roads which would increase traffic at busy times.

The design team are working to contain bus drop off and pickups within the site as far as possible but final plans will be available at the next informal consultation / information evening.

Parking for Sports Academy

Residents had issues with users of the Sports Academy parking on Oakfield Street for several hours instead of using the school car park.

The school and Council have been working with residents to improve the situation since the sale of Balmoral Car Park. The Highways team have installed signage around the area to direct visiting teams to the Sports Academy Parking and the school will make explicit the parking arrangement and improve the signage across the site to guide visitors from the car park to the pitch.

Loss of pupil recreational spaces

Many residents, parents and pupils were concerned over the loss of the two basketball courts if the on-site options were chosen.

The design team will work to re-locate these elsewhere within the site. Final plans will be made available at the next meeting.

Construction work

There were many questions around the construction work and how this would be managed.

These questions will be answered at the second consultation / information evening prior to submission of the planning application when the location of the new block has been finalised and designed and construction methods are outlined. The contractors will then work closely with the school to minimise disruption to school activities and congestion on surrounding roads.

 

 

Files:

Overview

 

Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College has been oversubscribed for a number of years and although a number of classrooms have been added recently, there is now a significant shortfall of accommodation in order to maintain current admission numbers.

The new accommodation will allow the school to increase its Published Admission Number (PAN) from 210 (pupils per year group) to 290. Currently years 7, 8 and 9 already have close to 290 in each year group; therefore the actual increase in pupils is expected to be 100 pupils over the next two years. Staff numbers are expected to increase by 3 (full time equivalent) staff.

The Council have agreed to fund the new build and have commissioned Galliford Try and their architects Pozzoni, to design and build 14 classrooms, a Sports Hall and associated WC and changing facilities. This secondary school is one of only a few high schools without a 4 court (badminton) sports hall.

The school has very limited grounds and no playing fields under their ownership. They currently lease Coronation Fields from the Council.

Different options, based on a feasibility study, were shown at an informal consultation which took place at the school on Wednesday 22nd January 2020.  These included on-site expansions as well as the possibility of building on a corner of the open space associated with the Welman Way development.

 View the plans that were tabled on the evening

 

Why We Are Consulting

You can comment online by clicking the survey link below;

By email to schoolprojects@trafford.gov.uk

Or write to the following address;

Schools’ Capital Projects Team,

2nd Floor, Waterside House,

Waterside, Sale,

M33 7ZF

 

The deadline for comments is Friday 15th May 2020.