School agreed for Don Valley Stadium site

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Work can begin on a new ‘super-school’ on part of the former Don Valley Stadium site in Sheffield after it won unanimous approval.

Sheffield Council agreed proposals for the £17 million school and community hub at a planning committee meeting yesterday afternoon.

Jessica Ennis

Jessica Ennis

The new academy school will offer 1,200 places for children aged between two and 16 and is due to open in September 2015.

Discussions in the meeting focused on the impact of traffic congestion and parking nearby.

Speaking before the vote, Coun Tony Downing said: “There is a desperate need in this area for a new school and I think this is an exciting project , especially as the design of the school is not like some we have had.

“I think it is a very good plan and it doesn’t take up a lot of space, so there will be the chance to put sporting facilities on there as well.”

It is hoped an Olympic Legacy Park could be built on the site as part of a scheme involving former Sheffield MP and sports minister Richard Caborn, who has met with Lord Sebastian Coe over the idea. It would include a community stadium for basketball, rugby union and rugby league.

Campaigners and sporting leaders fought to keep Don Valley Stadium – where London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill trained – before it was demolished last year as part of cost-saving measures from the council.

Yesterday’s meeting heard questions from councillors about traffic around the site as parents dropped off their children for lessons.

At peak times, there will be a maximum of 86 vehicles able to access the site.

Transport assessments prepared for the application found junctions nearby do not have the capacity to cope with the increase in traffic.

A highways improvement scheme will be secured through conditions and officers said it could include looking at traffic regulations or a one-way system.

Oasis Community Learning is to sponsor the academy.