Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Arden School in temporary classroom bid

ARDEN School in Knowle has returned with a controversial bid to keep three temporary classrooms for two years after completion of a new sixth form.

The school has re-submitted a planning application which angered many residents over the summer. The school eventually withdrew it.

Click here and enter 2009 and 1754 in the two boxes to view the new application. The July application 2009/1174.

It says the blocks are needed as the school takes more vocational classes that have smaller group sizes, increasing demand for rooms. The three blocks house six classrooms.

At present, the classrooms must be removed within six months of “substantial” completion of the sixth form. This is part of council planning permission for the sixth form.

The previous application drew 10 comments opposing it on the website of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, which has a final say on the bid.

H Gamble wrote: “It is surprising that after a four year, multimillion pound major build programme resulting in 31 new classrooms, two teaching spaces, a library and a common room, Arden still want to teach pupils in temporary accommodation.

“If Arden school feel they need the extra accommodation for a further two years, it would suggest that they should be looking for a permanent rather than temporary solution.

“It also raises concerns that these temporary classrooms will be there for a very long time with Arden continually requesting and extension on the planning.”

Jill Chape said: “How could you get it wrong when they have not yet finished the 6th form block?
“Is all the money spent on the building work for nothing if the children have to be in temporary classrooms when it is finished?”

The blocks were “the sort of thing you expect in an inner city school, not Arden School” she said.

Residents said the blocks needed to be better screened from public view. The council has to make a decision by December 8.