£2.75million scheme to redevelop Hartlepool's Catcote Academy to ensure better facilities for pupils with special needs

Plans have been lodged to redevelop Catcote Academy as part of a £2.75million scheme to ensure better facilities for pupils with special needs in Hartlepool.

Friday, 6th August 2021, 12:27 pm
Updated Friday, 6th August 2021, 2:09 pm

Proposals have been put forward to Hartlepool Borough Council planning department for improvement works to be carried out at the school in Catcote Road.

The application, submitted by Kelly Armstrong at the council, states an existing classroom building at the site would be demolished to make way for a new structure.

A design and access statement, submitted by Portakabin on behalf of the applicant, says the proposals will improve the offer at the school and allow them to help more pupils.

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Catcote Academy

It said: “The new building has been designed to facilitate additional pupils at the school and improve the current facilities.

“The existing single-storey classroom building will be demolished and the proposed building constructed on the site.

“The objective of the building is to provide an increase in space and improve the current facilities the school has available.”

The proposed new building includes 16 classrooms, featuring 14 for general teaching, one for food tech and one “speciality” room.

Catcote Academy

The facility would also have a quiet room, staff office, a gym with a high roof to allow for use of a trampoline, and associated sanitary facilities.

The new building would be part two-storey, and part single-storey, and would have a covered walkway connecting the existing school building to the proposed development.

The new building would sit to the west of the site and access would be via the existing school routes, while the proposals also include the relocation of an existing modular building at the site.

The plans come after funding proposals for the “significant extension” to the school were approved by full council last month.

Council chiefs said the move will help provide more support for children with moderate learning difficulties in Hartlepool.

Officers previously reported the main academy building was “no longer fit for purpose” after a number of years without significant investment.

The funding proposal will provide a saving to the council’s school high needs block funding of between £0.343m and £0.783m a year, compared to providing external placements.

It will be funded from £1.2million of grant funding, and £1.55million prudential borrowing.

A decision is expected to be made on the proposals in September.

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