Hartlepool's High Tunstall College of Science granted go ahead for new building to boost SEND places

Plans have been approved for a new building at a Hartlepool school to increase provision for young people with additional educational needs.
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Proposals were submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council for a single storey modular site at High Tunstall College of Science in Elwick Road.

The building will offer four classrooms, two breakout spaces, an open plan area and toilet facilities, and provide “much needed capacity” to support young people with special educational needs.

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The proposals have now been approved, paving the way for work to start.

High Tunstall College of Science. Picture by FRANK REIDHigh Tunstall College of Science. Picture by FRANK REID
High Tunstall College of Science. Picture by FRANK REID

It ruled the development was “acceptable” and said there were “no considered significant adverse impacts” which would warrant refusal.

A planning statement from Portakabin, in support of the application from council officers, said the building will ensure the authority meets its duty in providing education for those with moderate learning difficulties (MLD).

It said: “If there was no additional provision in place the young people with MLD would need to be placed outside of the town in high cost and often low-quality independent provision.

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“This not only places a financial burden on the local authority, but also stops young people from being able to access their learning within their local community with their peers.”

It adds the school has already run a “very successful” two year pilot provision of support commissioned by the local authority which is now full.

The building will be located on what is currently a minibus turning area opposite the existing hydrotherapy pool site.

Earlier this year the council’s children’s services committee supported the provision at High Tunstall, estimating the project would support 45 places and be funded through the Department for Education.