Plans for new £13m primary school in Sunderland recommended to get the go-ahead

Plans for a new multi-million pound primary school on Wearside could be given the go-ahead.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 10:11 am

Sunderland City Council has previously announced plans to relocate and rebuild the current Sunningdale Primary School on a new site.

The special school provides for nursery and primary aged children with severe learning difficulties and physical disabilities.

Due to increasing demand for pupil places, council chiefs earmarked capital funds to relocate the school to a new home in the Doxford ward.

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Land west of Silksworth Way and north of Doxford Park Way Sunderland Picture: Google

The proposed site, between Silksworth Way and Doxford Park Way, aims to provide increased capacity and improved facilities for pupils and staff.

This includes 120 places, plus a 16-place nursery provision, and a design aiming to meet the specific needs of children attending.

A full planning application for the new school is due to be decided by the council’s Planning and Highways (East) Committee.

If approved, the school would offer appropriately sized class bases, improved additional hall space and therapy provisions ranging from rebound therapy and hydrotherapy, to light and sensory facilities and soft play.

Land west of Silksworth Way and north of Doxford Park Way Sunderland Picture: Google

Each class would have a storage area for mobility equipment required by the children with physical disabilities who attend the school.

Meanwhile, areas of informal play and grass playing fields would also be provided across the wider site, alongside a wetlands area, nature trail and habitat area.

Sunningdale Primary School currently occupies the former Springwell Infant School off Shaftoe Road.

According to planning documents, the need for capital refurbishment and pressures on school places prompted proposals to relocate and rebuild the school in Doxford, which is expected to cost more than £13 million.

The planning application from the city council’s capital projects team has been recommended for approval by council planners.

A planning report goes on to say: “Sunningdale Primary School is currently operating above its physical capacity and it is not possible to place any additional children at the current school.

“Against this backdrop, there is ongoing demand for special educational needs places across the school sector, this includes for children with severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple learning difficulties.

“The host site is allocated for community use in line with this proposal, whilst national planning policy emphasises that a sufficient choice of school places should be available to meet the needs of existing and new communities whilst advising that local planning authorities take a proactive, positive and collaborative approach to meeting this requirement.”

The plans for the new school will be discussed at a virtual planning hearing on Monday, April 26.

The meeting starts at 4pm and will be broadcast live on the council’s YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/aQ-q58uQTtc