Temporary school buildings plan for Burnside Academy as major repairs take place after structural issues

Plans have been lodged to create a temporary educational facility at a Sunderland school site while major repairs take place.
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A planning application including portable cabins on playing fields to create a “temporary school facility” at Burnside Academy in the Houghton ward has been submitted to Sunderland City Council to allow education to continue on site while repairs take place.

According to a planning statement prepared for Burnside Academy and submitted with the application, the school buildings “experienced excessive structural settlements” following recent pumping and drainage works.

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Although these resulted in the primary school closing for health and safety concerns in March 2021, the statement confirms that repairs are now proposed with the aim of reopening the school in March 2022.

Temporary school facilities are planned for Burnside Academy.Temporary school facilities are planned for Burnside Academy.
Temporary school facilities are planned for Burnside Academy.

The document adds that the current temporary arrangement of children being “bussed out” to other city schools is having an impact on the overall quality of their education – which has already been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

New proposals for a temporary school aim to “ensure a familiar environment” for Burnside Academy pupils which is “close to their school and in connection with their peers and teachers.”

Planning documents state that the temporary school facility would be constructed from five blocks of portable buildings arranged in a cluster.

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This consists of three temporary classrooms and a kitchen pod arranged in a circle around the administration base / staff room and the head teacher room.

The remainder of the playing fields will form open space for the pupil’s recreation during break times with general access to the new temporary school being taken from Leyburn Grove.

The planning statement goes on to say: “This development would see the school fields temporarily become the site of port-a-cabin style buildings, which would host the school facilities.

“This is for an expected period of six months whilst repairs are taken to Burnside Academy.

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“The proposal aims to reduce the impact to pupils by allowing them to attend their local school facilities, as the current situation involves pupils bussed out to separate schools within the city.”

A final decision on the application is expected in coming months following a period of public consultation.

For more information on the application or to track its progress, visit online-applications.sunderland.gov.uk/online-applications and search planning reference: 21/02019/FU4

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