Plans for £10.5m revamp of Queensferry primary school site formally entered
Plans to remodel a Flintshire primary school site at a cost of around £10.5m have formally been entered.
The project would result in the refurbishment of Queensferry Primary School for up to 180 full-time pupils aged between three and eleven on the existing campus on Chester Road.
It would also see the creation of a new pupil referral unit, known as Plas Derwen, and a community hub building.
Kier Construction has been appointed to oversee the scheme, which includes the demolition of several derelict buildings associated with the former John Summers High School.
The secondary school closed in 2017 despite a campaign to keep it open after Flintshire Council abandoned earlier proposals to invest £18.5m in the site.
Consultants acting on behalf of the local authority said the latest plans would deliver improved education facilities for children in the area.
In a planning statement, they said: “The site is within the ownership of Flintshire County Council and is considered to currently be under-utilised following the closure of the John Summers High School which was formerly accommodated on the site.
“The redevelopment proposals form part of the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education Programme.
“The remit of this programme being to deliver new investment in schools and colleges across Wales, improving facilities and reducing the number of educational buildings which are in poor condition.
“The proposals represent the next phase of development to rejuvenate the Queensferry campus site.”
They added: “Buildings remain on site which formed part of the now closed John Summers school.
“These buildings are dilapidated and are not fit for re-use.”
According to the documents, both pupil and staff numbers at the primary school would remain unchanged under the proposals.
The scheme would instead remove existing buildings which are deemed to be “unsuitable” for learning.
The pupil referral unit would improve on an established facility at the site by boosting its capacity to cater for 98 children aged four to 16, who require specialist supervision for behavioural and social issues.
Meanwhile, the community hub would represent an entirely new development for the use of local groups, as well as providing sports changing rooms.
The statement adds: “The principle of development at the site is acceptable, with the proposals representing the redevelopment of an under-utilised previously developed site that is sustainably located in the heart of the Queensferry community, well connected to existing public transport links.
“The design proposals have been carefully considered to appropriately respect existing uses and to address the transport requirements for the site.
“The proposals will facilitate significant lasting benefits, in the form of delivering superior, modern educational facilities and new community facilities which in turn will achieve wide ranging positive impacts for the community.”
Funding for the project has been secured from a number of sources, including the Welsh Government, Flintshire Council, the Flying Start early years programme and the Welsh Rugby Union.
Representatives for Kier previously said they were hoping to start work on the referral unit and community hub later this year, with an estimated completion date of autumn 2021.
The overall project is expected to be finished by summer 2022.
Comments are currently being invited on the plans via the council’s website with planners aiming to make a decision towards the end of July.
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
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