Decision due on new £25m Sheffield school

The proposed Astrea Academy Sheffield.
The proposed Astrea Academy Sheffield.
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Councillors will be asked to approve plans for the second of two new £25 million Sheffield schools at a meeting next week.

Astrea Academy Sheffield, which could be built on land around Andover Street in Burngreave, is part of the council’s plan to create more school places in the city.

Permission has already been granted for Mercia School, which will cater for 1,200 pupils aged from 11 to 18 when it opens in Carterknowle Road in September next year.

And on Tuesday members of the planning committee will decid whether or not to approve the Astrea plans.

If permission is granted, the school would cater for about 1,400 pupils from nursery to secondary age. The grade II-listed Pye Bank School would be refurbished and incorporated into Astrea Academy as part of the development.

The new school would be run by the Astrea Academy Trust once built.

The site now, including the former Pye Bank School.

The site now, including the former Pye Bank School.

Chief executive Libby Nicholas said: “The new school - Astrea Academy Sheffield – is a hugely exciting prospect for the local area and we have been working very closely with the council throughout the process.

"We very much hope that planning permission is granted so that we can make our vision of Astrea Academy Sheffield becoming a beacon school a reality. If approved, {http://www.thestar.co.uk/our-towns-and-cities/sheffield/academy-trust-boss-believes-new-school-in-burngreave-will-help-bridge-the-education-gap-in-sheffield-1-8524032the new school will look out over the city and transform the area.”|click here}

A report to councillors ahead of Tuesday’s meeting highlights the need for more school places in Sheffield, and recommends the plans are approved.

Council officers say the new school responds ‘positively’ to the layout of the site, which is on an incline looking over the city, and ‘seeks to protect long views of the listed school building as well as the amenities of the occupants of neighbouring properties’.

Trust chief executive Libby Nicholas

Trust chief executive Libby Nicholas

The report adds: “The design also makes reference to another local landmark – Stanage and Burbage Edge – which helps to add interest to the building’s appearance and massing in an appropriate and meaningful way.”

Officers say noise from the school or its grounds is not likely to be a issue for residents, but a proposed games area coverd in artificial grass is ‘potentially problematic’.

“For this reason, and in order to avoid harming the amenities of those living adjacent or close to the application site, community use of the artificial grass area will only be allowed if additional reporting shows that noise can be satisfactorily controlled,” the report says.

Sheffield Central ward councillor Douglas Johnson raised concerns about increased traffic which ‘would have a serious detrimental impact on the residents wellbeing, health and safety’.

How the school could look.

How the school could look.

But highway work should ensure pupils can get to school safely, according to officers.

And despite concerns raised by the Victorian Society that the new school would ‘entirely deprive the listed building of its spectacular landmark quality’, officers say the proposals would ‘not cause harm to the character or historic interest of the former Pye Bank Board School’.

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