New primary school plans set for approval

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Planners have voiced serious concerns over the designs of two new primary schools in Sheffield – but the plans are still set to get the go-ahead.

Sheffield Council says financial restraints have had an impact on plans for the new Fox Hill school and Prince Edward on the Manor.

But they say concerns are outweighed by the need for the new schools in two deprived parts of the city.

Councillors will vote on the plans on Tuesday.

Both developments are part of a national Priority School Building Programme to tackle schools in urgent need of repair and are being paid for by the Government-backed Education Funding Agency.

Complaints about the replacement for Fox Hill Primary, off Keats Road, include metal panels being used instead of brick, a design that fails to highlight the main entrance to the school, fencing around the building producing a ‘caged in’ effect and an absence of public art.

Minor design changes have been made, but council planners say there is no money in either the budget of the Education Funding Agency or the council to finance improvements that would generate the usual standard of design.

And their report on the proposed replacement for Prince Edward Primary, off Queen Mary Road, says: “The design of the school, despite some minor amendments, is considered to fall significantly short of the quality of a development that would ordinarily be expected from a building of this type on such a prominent site ...”