New Longton Lane Community Primary School given green light by St Helens Borough Council's Planning Committee
At a meeting of St Helens Borough Council Planning Committee this week, approval was granted for the redevelopment of Longton Lane Community Primary School in Rainhill.
Article date: 29 June 2023
The new two-storey school, to be built on the current site behind the existing building, will take pupil capacity up to 312 - an increase of 51 - resulting in the creation of three new staff posts.
Key features include six ground floor classes, a library, Special Education Needs (SEN) resource room, assembly hall, medical room, offices and kitchen - while the first floor will comprise of seven classrooms, a staff area, studio room, offices and various group rooms.
Funded through the Department of Education's 'School Rebuilding Programme' - with a financial contribution from St Helens Borough Council - the development will also include new sports pitches, playing fields, netball courts and landscaped areas, with an uplift in car and cycle parking spaces, as well as the introduction of electric charging points. Solar panels will also be provided on the roof to reduce carbon emissions, contributing to St Helens Borough Council's target of reaching net zero by 2040.
Welcoming the decision, St Helens Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning, Councillor Richard McCauley said: "Ensuring children and young people have the appropriate standard of infrastructure to learn and thrive is high on the council's agenda and so I'm delighted to see this application passed as it will significantly enhance the education experience of Longton Lane Community Primary School and be a benefit to the wider community and environment.
"Like any regeneration scheme, we will look to ensure that the benefits of the project are kept as local as possible, from contractors and suppliers to the workforce itself as we look to grow the borough and provide better opportunities for everyone."
Councillor Nova Charlton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, added: "Given that a good number of years of a child's life is spent in school, it is vital that they have the perfect learning environment to help them thrive on their journey through education - which the new Longton Lane Primary School will help achieve.
"You've only got to look at the recently completely Ashurst Primary School in Blackbrook to get a sense of how being in a modern, vibrant school which has been built for the future can make a world of difference to pupils and staff and we will continue to prioritise investment in educational settings of greatest need as we look to achieve our key priority of ensuring children and young people have a positive start in life."
Commenting on how much of a difference the new school will make to the lives of pupils at Longton Lane Community Primary School, headteacher Linda Speed said: "We are delighted to be having a new building where the whole school will be together as one and it will ensure the best learning environment for our children to achieve their full potential. The new classrooms and facilities will support all our children on their educational journey and benefit pupils for many years to come. All the staff and children at Longton lane are excited for the building work to commence."
Work on the new school is expected to start later this summer, with a construction management plan implemented to minimise disruption to pupils, teachers, parents and local residents during the development works.