A STRIKING 21st century design for a new primary school in Uplyme has been submitted to East Devon District Council for approval.
Barker Associates, acting as agents for the Ethelston & Bestic School Foundation, submitted the designs and information following the grant of outline planning permission for the construction of a new school building on land adjacent to Lyme Road, adjoining Uplyme Village Hall.
The design has been developed by NetZero Buildings, a specialist provider of ‘net zero’ energy buildings for the education sector, in conjunction with the staff and children of Mrs Ethelston’s CE Primary Academy to assure that the current high standards of attainment and positive educational experience are continued.
The primary school has occupied its current site in Pound Lane since 1854, and whilst these premises have been extended and altered to adapt to the changing needs in education over the years, it is widely recognised that the increased number of children being accommodated and the requirements of the National Curriculum make it unfeasible to continue operation there indefinitely.
Consultation took place with the local community at the time of the initial outline planning application in 2012 with a very positive response, and further consultation took place in 2016 when the outline permission was renewed.
The village hall and parish council are both supportive of the application, as they anticipate that in addition to the enhanced educational facilities the community shall benefit from improved amenity in terms of parking for village events, access to all weather sport facilities and other engagement activities planned within the new school building.
One area for concern, however, which has been raised is the approved access arrangements for the site off Lyme Road.
The Bestic Trust has undertaken to work with the parish council to attempt to resolve any issues when seeking to finalise the School Travel Plan with East Devon District Council.
The striking modern design for the new school has strong green credentials to meet the objective of attaining net zero carbon emissions for both the construction and operation phases.
It is anticipated that the highly thermally-efficient materials used will enable the solar panels situated on the roof to heat and light the school whilst generating surplus power to the grid.
Running costs for the school will be reduced and maintenance costs for the future should be predictable with the constructor providing both warranty and maintenance as part of the capital cost for the project.
Assembly, dining, outdoor learning and PE are current significant challenges that will be resolved by the new location.
An innovative landscape scheme produced by Gyles Morris will provide the children with a stimulating environment for outdoor learning and creative play, whilst the provision of an all weather surface and a multi functional hall will ensure PE will take place in all seasons.
The new single form entry primary school will be able to accommodate 210 children, an increase of 25 on the current role.
Martin Whitehead of The Bestic Trust said: “We are very pleased to have reached a point where we can address the reserved matters and work through the final stages of the planning process to secure the site and, once concluded, get on with the business of raising the funds and building the new school.
“With the continued help of all concerned we a very hopeful that this will come to pass.”