New Church of England academy could be built on school site in Bradford

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Ven Dr David Lee, chairman of Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust The Ven Dr David Lee, chairman of Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust

A new £15 million secondary academy planned for Bradford could be built in the grounds of an existing school.

The purpose-built Church of England academy will be sponsored by the Diocese of Bradford and run by the Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust, which currently runs two primary schools in the district.

The new co-educational academy, for around 1,050 children aged 11 to 16, is expected to open in 2015.

Bradford Council has been heavily involved in the bid to the Department for Education and will provide the land and fixtures and fittings for the new school.

The academy was originally expected to be built off Douglas Road, East Bowling, but the Trust has been told this plan has changed. Instead, it could be built on the playing fields of the nearby Lower Fields Primary School, Fenby Avenue, subject to planning permission.

The Ven Dr David Lee, chairman of Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust, said he had been told the Douglas Road site was not suitable for building on because it was once used for landfill.

He said the current plan could instead see the land off Douglas Road being turned into new school playing fields, possibly for the primary school and academy to share.

Dr Lee said the Trust was committed to spending time getting to know the area, talking to the community and to feeder primary schools. He said: “It’s really important to listen to local communities and build the sense of working together in this. In particular for a school, that means the primary schools in the area.

“We are looking forward to meeting these primary schools and, in particular, getting to know them and listening to them about what they think is needed and how it might develop.”

But some locals have already expressed concerns about plans to build the school.

Andrew Brewster, of Fenby Avenue, said he was worried about the impact on the roads at school opening and closing times, especially given the proximity of Lower Fields Primary School.

And Ian Morton, also of Fenby Avenue, said his garden would back onto the proposed school site.

He said: “Would you want 1,050 or more teenagers hanging around where you live? Not really. I remember what I was like at that age!”

The planning application is expected to be published in the coming weeks, a Council spokesman has confirmed.

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