Primary school proposed for Grange site

March 29 2018

A NEW primary school could be built on the site of the former Grange School in Warmley.

South Gloucestershire Council has identified that there will be a need for school places in the area and says the site could be a good place for a new school.

The authority is about to embark on a "masterplanning" exercise which will look at future options for the site.

It will focus on education, homes and community sports facilities and how a balance of the three can be achieved.

A first draft masterplan will be presented for public consultation later this year.

Since the Grange school closed in 2016 there has been speculation about the future of the land. 

The site is already home to Digitech Studio School, which opened in 2015 and provides a specialised curriculum for progression into the creative digital and high tech sectors for students aged 14-19. 

Central to future plans will be continued and expanded educational use including access to sufficient outdoor space. 

Next to the old Grange site is Warmley Park Special School, which is accessed from the site’s main road. The council is committed to spending £350k to provide a dedicated pre-school building for children with special educational needs and disabilities. 

Warmley Park Special School is already undergoing a £5.8m expansion to add new sixth-form, physiotherapy and changing facilities, together with other improvements, which is expected to be completed later this year.

New homes will be a part of the development of the site and the masterplan will look at how to allocate space for housing.

The council is currently in discussions with Homes England to explore options to grow stocks of affordable homes in the area, although other alternative developments may come forward.

The third objective will be to continue to provide sports facilities and the masterplan will look at ways to balance the demand for new places to live and go to school, with the need for residents and students get outdoors and enjoy sports.

The first draft of the masterplan will set out a range of options to illustrate the ways these priorities can be balanced. Those ideas will then be presented to local people and stakeholders to hear their views. 

Following that process, a revised version will be developed for a further round of consultation by early 2019.

Cabinet member for Schools, Skills and Employment, Longwell Green councillor Toby Savage, said: "Our aspirations for this site are to use this precious parcel of land at the heart of our community to deliver on three key priorities for local people. 

"We have set out our requirements of the masterplanning exercise, which are to balance future land use to help us meet the growing demand for school places, homes to live in and to ensure ongoing access to community sports facilities.

"We look forward to reviewing the options that will be brought forward and to hearing from local people and community groups as we work together to make the best use of this council land."