Extension approved for The Grove School in Berwick which is 'bursting at the seams'

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A planning application for an extension to a special school in the Berwick area has received the green light.

Officers at Northumberland County Council approved the bid by The Grove School in Tweedmouth under delegated powers.

The design and access statement submitted on behalf of the school said: “Due to the increase in pupil numbers over the years, the school is bursting at the seams and more floor space is a necessity.”

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Although the team at The Grove accept that they would not be at the top of the list for a new and larger special school as a separate project, with other special schools in the county in the same boat, they had hoped that new buildings for The Grove would be included as part of the council’s planned £40million-plus investment in schools in the Berwick Partnership as the local authority recognised the need for additional places for pupils with special educational needs (SEN).

The Grove School. Picture from Google.The Grove School. Picture from Google.
The Grove School. Picture from Google.

But the council decided to include SEN units at what will be the new Berwick St Mary’s Primary School and at Berwick Academy.

However, she added that it was in the best interests of the children to move forward and she and her team have worked together with the local authority on creating extra space at its site.

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The application that has been approved in full states: ‘Proposed erection of new single storey extension and remodelling of current floor space to create suitable store room, dining/recreation hall and further toilet and changing facilities to take into account a substantial increase in pupil numbers’.

The extension will be 14.5m in length and 4.7m in width, and create 50 square metres of new floor space.

Approving the bid, the report by planning officers includes the following: “The application proposes works to improve and expand an existing school which serves the local community by adding a moderate extension to the existing school hall building in the form of an infill extension.

“It is considered that the principle of development would accord with policies STP 1 and STP 3 of the Northumberland Local Plan and paragraph 99 of the National Planning Policy Framework, and is acceptable.”

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