Expansion plans for Wellingborough school could be approved this week

Sir Christopher Hatton Academy in Wellingborough
Sir Christopher Hatton Academy in Wellingborough

Plans to build a new teaching block at a Wellingborough school have been recommended for approval.

The application for construction of a new teaching block and all associated external works at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy will be considered by Wellingborough Council’s planning committee this week.

A report written for councillors ahead of the meeting states: “This application seeks planning permission for a new teaching block incorporating classrooms, a lecture theatre, a cafe, associated support, storage and WC facilities.

“The proposed extension has been designed to cater for a whole year group, which will facilitate whole year teaching, assembly and seminar uses.

“It is proposed that the english department will be relocated to the new building and the existing vacated space will be allocated to other departments to allow for the school to expand.”

A response from Northamptonshire Education as part of the consultation said: “Given the forecast demand for secondary school places in the Wellingborough area over forthcoming academic years, it is clear that additional capacity will be required to ensure all students residing in the area, have access to a secondary school place.

“As such, the county council fully support the proposal to increase the published admission number at Sir Christopher Hatton and the associated planning application.

“The proposal forms a key part of ensuring that the county council continue to provide a sufficiency of school places in this area of the county.”

However, eight letters of objection have been received from occupiers of neighbouring properties in The Pyghtle and Cedar Way.

Their concerns mainly focus on parking, saying that parking in the area is already congested, additional parking is required, alternative modes of travel to the car should be promoted by the school and there should be separate entrances to the school with one for teachers and one for parents.

The conclusion by planning officers states: “The proposed development complies with the relevant development plan policies and is consistent with the provisions in the NPPF specifically in relation to promoting sustainable development, enhancing and enlarging existing community facilities, compensating for the loss of playing fields, raising design standards, effect of noise, effect on neighbouring amenity, effect on surface water drainage, parking and highway safety and capacity and crime and disorder.

“In the absence of any material considerations of sufficient weight, it is recommended that the proposal be approved subject to conditions.”

Councillors will consider the plans at a meeting starting at 7pm on Wednesday (February 21) in the council chamber at Swanspool House, Wellingborough.