Green light for temporary school buildings

Reporter: Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter
Date published: 25 October 2021

An academy trust has been given the green light to set up temporary classrooms for students ahead of a brand new school being built in Oldham.

The Cranmer Education Trust sought approval from Oldham council to construct a modular three storey classroom block at the Blue Coat School site on Egerton Street.

It is designed to accommodate the first intake of year 7s to the new Brian Clarke CE Academy, which is currently being constructed on land off Booth Street.

And planning chiefs have now granted approval for the application.

The building will contain six classrooms and three specialist rooms, including science laboratories and IT infrastructure.

Allison Ash, who will be the headteacher at Brian Clarke next year said: “We are so pleased that planning permission for our new temporary school building school has been granted, hot on the heels of the planning permission for our permanent home.

“As the former deputy head at The Blue Coat School, it will be a real ‘home away from home’ for me when we open here in September 2022.

“We have taken the utmost care in the planning of the temporary site to ensure that Brian Clarke CE Academy students get a brilliant start to their school lives.”

The new school which is named after the Oldham-born artist and architect Brian Clarke, is due to open in 2023 and will hold 1,200 students.

However the temporary building at Blue Coat is required to teach 240 year 7 pupils from September 2022, ahead of the Booth Street site being finished.

While the two schools will exist on the same site for a year, they will operate as ‘separate entities’.

The proposals see grassland on the school grounds converted into a car park, which would provide the hard-standing as the basis for installing the temporary ‘cabins’.

The trust says that the temporary solution is required due to delays in approving the new school caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite sharing the same site, Blue Coat and the temporary Brian Clarke facilities will operate independently, with their own staff and staggered dining times at the Blue Coat restaurant.

According to the planning approval by Oldham council, the temporary buildings are permitted for a ‘limited period’ of 22 months.

They must be removed two months after the expiry date, and the land developed into a permanent car park.

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