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Gloucestershire Business News

Have your say on new Cheltenham secondary school

Proposals for a new secondary school in Leckhampton have been submitted for planning permission. Members of the public can comment on the application until 13th September.

Local residents and parents have already provided valuable feedback on the proposals. Members of the public will also be able to comment on the planning application from today.

The new secondary school is part of the county council's investment of £100 million into Gloucestershire schools. It will be run by the Balcarras Academy Trust and will teach pupils aged 11 to 16. The school will eventually hold 900 pupils. However entry will be phased, so 120 pupils will join year 7 in September 2021, with a new year 7 group joining at the beginning of each academic year.

Cllr Patrick Molyneux, cabinet member for economy, education and skills, said: "These designs show just what a fantastic and exciting opportunity the new school will offer to Cheltenham and the surrounding area, whilst addressing crucial shortages in pupil places."

The artist's impressions from architects AHR show detailed plans of classrooms and outdoor areas, including large grass playing fields, an astro-turf pitch, tennis courts, an outdoor area for table tennis and a café with outdoor seating. Many of the existing trees and shrubs will be kept along the boundary, and a habitat area with a wildflower meadow and outdoor learning area within the school boundary will be created.

The school will be built using textured brick with soft edges and colour variation to suit the local area, as well as timber panelling and metal cladding. It has been designed with sustainability in mind and the materials have been chosen to complement the natural surroundings of the site and reduce energy demand.

As the school will serve a very local population, over 1.5km of footpaths and off-road cycle paths will be introduced or upgraded on key routes nearby to allow for direct walking and cycling links to the surrounding area. The school will have a number of entrances for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as plenty of covered secure bike parking, to make it as accessible as possible to walk or cycle and reduce the impact of cars on the local area.

A review of the impact of the school on local roads has been undertaken by Cotswold Transport Planning through a traffic simulation model to make sure that the development can be safely accommodated.

The proposals are subject to planning permission and the application is expected to go to the planning committee in November. If approved, construction work will start on site in April 2020 with the school due to open in September 2021.

A link to view and comment on the application is available online at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/school-places-in-cheltenham , along with further information about the new school.

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