Bradford Council education bosses criticised over plans

An artist's impression of the scheme

An artist's impression of the scheme

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

Members of a key planning committee have insisted that plans for the expansion of an inner-city primary school must undergo major revisions before they could consider approving them.

Councillors initially deferred the application to replace Princeville Primary, Shearbridge, in June after concerns about the loss of well-used playing fields and inadequate parking.

The plans involved creating new school buildings on the playing fields and then demolishing the old building, which would become a sports pitch.

Bradford Council’s regulatory and appeals committee asked education bosses to look again at its proposal and new plans were drawn up after consultation with residents and councillors.

The revisions included relocating the main car park to the south-east corner of the site, enlarging the grassed area to the rear of the properties on Telford Court, and creating a play area fronting on to Princeville Street.

But yesterday members of the committee accused education bosses of ignoring their concerns about the loss of playing fields on the Princeville Street side of the school.

After a barrage of questions, councillors said the proposed 45 metre by 20 metre multi-use games area was far too small to accommodate the hundreds of local children who currently use the grassed area for informal play.

Eventually the panel unanimously agreed to defer the application once more with the proviso that consideration be given to using the existing footprint of the school building, or other areas which would allow as much of the open grassed areas to be retained as possible. If this could not be done, they called for a detailed report into all the options that had been considered.

Chairman of the panel, Councillor David Warburton, said: “I’m very disappointed. The comments that we made when we deferred this haven’t been taken on board. We do want to see a school on this site for the local community, but it is very important that it’s the right school in the right position.”

When asked about why they were not proposing to build on the existing footprint, Steven Jenks, lead officer for provision and capital for children's services at the Council, told the panel that to completely decamp the school to temporary buildings for around 18 months would add £2 million to the project cost.

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