New plans reveal that a primary and secondary school expansion could to cater for nearly 1,000 youngsters in a “direct response to the demand” for more pupil places in Leeds.
Wilmott Dixon Construction Ltd has applied to Leeds City Council to build the facilities along with game areas, sports pitches and more at Dixons Trinity Chapeltown in Leopold Street.
The school’s reception year opened in September, and it is hoped that the facility will be completed by 2023.
At the start of the next school year in September 2018, it plans to take in 112 Year Seven pupils and 60 new reception children.
Now a planning statement issued by the builder reads: “The application proposals are a direct response to the demand for more school places in Leeds.”
Earlier this month, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported that a total of 1,134 children did not get into their first choice of primary school in Leeds, with 279 missing out on any of their chosen schools.
Planning documents with the application read that in the Roundhay Road area, which includes the Leeds Thomas Danby college catchment, there is a current shortfall of almost 50 primary places.
Coun Lisa Mulherin, the council’s Executive Member for Children and Families, said that the authority will be bringing forward proposals to add more places in at both primary and secondary level in the coming months and years.
The developer’s statement adds: “The proposal for Dixons Trinity to open an all-through free school offers a co-ordinated response to the areas forecast need. Dixons Trinity [in Bradford] is the first outstanding secondary free school in the country and the choice of the Barack Road site, which has been purchased from Leeds City Council, presents an opportunity for regeneration and enhancement of local community facilities. Initial dialogue with the local community has seen 215 expressions of interest in the new facility.”
The plan involves the demolition of a vacant depot building and redevelopment of land in Leopold Street, Barrack Road and Roundhay Road to provide the new schools which could cater for 980 pupils, with dining facilities, an indoor hall, kitchen, library, studio space, music room, staff offices, meeting space, as well as outdoor play areas and multi-use game areas.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:“We provide funding for all the school places based on local authorities’ own projections. Leeds has received £147.5 million to provide new school places from 2011-2017, and has been allocated a further £74.5 million from 2017-2020.”