Multi-million pound school merger plan could avoid "education crisis"

IN TALKS: Councillor Ralph Berry

IN TALKS: Councillor Ralph Berry

First published in News

AMBITIOUS plans have been revealed for a £7 million new primary school in Silsden to cope with a surge in demand.

The existing two schools in the area should be merged on to a new site to cater for a massive increase in numbers to avoid an educational crisis, say councillors Andrew Mallinson and Chris Atkinson.

They have called on the Bradford Council to buy land in Silsden and get the school built before hundreds of new houses are developed in the town.

The existing infant school, Aire View, already expects reception classes to dramatically increase during the next three three years, as children of existing Silsden families reach school age.

The councillors spoke as Councillor Ralph Berry, the Council's executive member for children and young peoples services, revealed to a single replacement for Hothfield Junior School and Aire View was among options being explored.

He hinted potential sites had been identified for the project, which is estimated to cost between £6 million and £7 million.

Coun Berry said: “We have been discussing with the schools’ governing bodies for some time about extending the schools or looking at another site.

“In effect, we’re looking at creating a new school. Two schools would be required to merge.”

Cllrs Mallinson and Atkinson, along with fellow Craven ward member Adrian Naylor, attended a briefing meeting this week with senior Council education officials.

Cllr Mallinson said he was “extremely concerned” to learn of the situation facing Silsden’s growing population.

He added: “There is no land on the existing school sites or near them to extend. There’s only enough capacity in Silsden for the next two or three years, then it will be breaking point. My fear is we’ll end up with a lot of portable buildings around the school sites to take up that capacity.”

Cllr Atkinson claimed council officers at the meeting accepted Silsden was heading for a crisis.

He added: “With 1,000 houses coming, they’ve got to do something. You can’t go on building houses – you need to have the infrastructure. It’s coming back to bite the council.”

Coun Atkinson said Bradford had earmarked a site between Silsden Park and Daisy Hill for a new school several years ago, but this was now too small.

Coun Berry said the council also hoped to secure the future of the swimming pool currently in the Hothfield School complex.

He added: “We're looking carefully to see all the needs are met. We want to ensure we deliver a school building. There are sites and options being looked at.”

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:58am Thu 31 Jul 14

BCFC1911 says...

Developers should only be able to build houses in an area if there is enough capacity in the catchment area for one child for every house they are building. If there isn't either tough or they should be made to at least fund half a new school

Mind you this is Bradford council isn't it
Developers should only be able to build houses in an area if there is enough capacity in the catchment area for one child for every house they are building. If there isn't either tough or they should be made to at least fund half a new school Mind you this is Bradford council isn't it BCFC1911
  • Score: 4

8:23am Thu 31 Jul 14

angry bradfordian says...

I'd like to see a detailed breakdown of where all the money goes that the House Builders have to give the council to get planning permission.

In Queensbury they alway say £x goes to 'education' and £x to leisure facilities. We've got hundreds of new houses, but instead of improving leisure facilities they're planning to close down the pool!
I wonder if the same happens to money 'allocated' to education.
I'd like to see a detailed breakdown of where all the money goes that the House Builders have to give the council to get planning permission. In Queensbury they alway say £x goes to 'education' and £x to leisure facilities. We've got hundreds of new houses, but instead of improving leisure facilities they're planning to close down the pool! I wonder if the same happens to money 'allocated' to education. angry bradfordian
  • Score: 3

9:52am Thu 31 Jul 14

Johsay says...

They must understand that they need schools when they approve housing.
They must understand that they need schools when they approve housing. Johsay
  • Score: 0

10:26am Thu 31 Jul 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

I've argued this all along, same is happening near Sty Lane. No one from the council has answered how Bingley Grammar, and other school in the area which are oversubscribed as it is will cope. Just a head in the sand wave it through attitude we see from the council to generate extra cash to spend on pie in the sky projects and feather their own nest.
I've argued this all along, same is happening near Sty Lane. No one from the council has answered how Bingley Grammar, and other school in the area which are oversubscribed as it is will cope. Just a head in the sand wave it through attitude we see from the council to generate extra cash to spend on pie in the sky projects and feather their own nest. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 1

10:56am Thu 31 Jul 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

A good idea for the council would be when they allocate what is seen by developers as prime land they get them to build cheaper housing on other areas which require development as part of a clause to be granted that land.

Instead of just handing greenbelt land to developers to build 500 houses, ensure they build elsewhere on empty or brownfield sites to meet the demand we are told about. There must be lots of places where empty houses are standing or land is not used that developers don't want, well force their hand and think outside the box rather than simply handing over greenbelt unquestioned.
A good idea for the council would be when they allocate what is seen by developers as prime land they get them to build cheaper housing on other areas which require development as part of a clause to be granted that land. Instead of just handing greenbelt land to developers to build 500 houses, ensure they build elsewhere on empty or brownfield sites to meet the demand we are told about. There must be lots of places where empty houses are standing or land is not used that developers don't want, well force their hand and think outside the box rather than simply handing over greenbelt unquestioned. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 1

4:16pm Thu 31 Jul 14

llos25 says...

You must remember the council does not have good ideas only ideas that will benefit themselves the people they are supposed to represent are second in line for consideration.
You must remember the council does not have good ideas only ideas that will benefit themselves the people they are supposed to represent are second in line for consideration. llos25
  • Score: -3

9:26pm Thu 31 Jul 14

Mr Perks says...

I can understand why developers want to build in 'green belt' areas in places like Silsden/Steeton/ South Craven, as people prefer to live there rather than a 'brown field' site. But why should the public then foot the bill for the increase in the necessary public facilities, like schools, GP's, water treatment/drainage, roads etc ? It seems like the developers make all the profit, whilst the general public see their taxes increasing and suffers the hassles of houses being built, plus a possible fall in their house price and their overall quality of life. There should be a hefty bill paid by the developers for every new person that their development will be bringing into that area, to allow for the extra costs they'll create. Building the area a new community centre or something similar, as often happens, just isn't enough.
I can understand why developers want to build in 'green belt' areas in places like Silsden/Steeton/ South Craven, as people prefer to live there rather than a 'brown field' site. But why should the public then foot the bill for the increase in the necessary public facilities, like schools, GP's, water treatment/drainage, roads etc ? It seems like the developers make all the profit, whilst the general public see their taxes increasing and suffers the hassles of houses being built, plus a possible fall in their house price and their overall quality of life. There should be a hefty bill paid by the developers for every new person that their development will be bringing into that area, to allow for the extra costs they'll create. Building the area a new community centre or something similar, as often happens, just isn't enough. Mr Perks
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree