£17m school rebuild in Hartlepool looks set to be given go-ahead

Artist impressions of the new High Tunstall College of Science. Courtesy of BAM Design
Artist impressions of the new High Tunstall College of Science. Courtesy of BAM Design

A multi-million pound development to create a modern new school building is being recommended for approval by town planning chiefs.

High Tunstall College of Science has been allocated £17.2m funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) as part of the Government’s Priority School Building Programme to address schools most in need of urgent repair.

High Tunstall College of Science's existing C Block.

High Tunstall College of Science's existing C Block.

Plans for a new three-storey replacement building and other work are due to be considered by Hartlepool Borough Council’s Planning Committee tomorrow.

Permission is also sought to demolish some existing school buildings, new sports pitches and landscaping.

The proposal also includes the provision of a new sports hall.

A report by council planning officers states: “The existing buildings appear dated and in parts are in a state of disrepair.”

It adds: “The new building will include a wide range of departments zoned around a central internal atrium, where the main hall, dining and activity area will be located.

“The departments include specialist teaching spaces for design technology and dedicated science labs.

“Externally, the proposals include new playing pitch provision, outdoor dining, SEN (Special Educational Needs) external play and an external social space.”

If approved, the new-look High Tunstall would have a capacity of 1,370 students and 130 staff, needed to meet the expected growth in student numbers within the local area.

Several major new housing developments are planned nearby in the coming years.

The new school building is planned to be situated mainly on land currently occupied by a playing pitch.

But compensatory pitches are due to be provided and Sport England has raised no objections.

The report adds that while the new building is proposed to be three storeys high, officers say it would be “unobtrusive” in the street scene and be typical of a school site.

It adds: “The building is considered to be fit for the modern operational function of a contemporary educational facility and in terms of visual impact is considered to be acceptable on the site.”

Four letters of objection have been lodged from neighbouring properties, raising concerns including increased traffic on Elwick Road.