The expansion of Wilmslow High School at a cost of £12m to meet the need for additional secondary school places in the town will be discussed by the Northern Planning Committee next week.
The Council approved plans in April 2020 to expand the High School from 1500 to 1800 pupil places, which will see the number of places for each year group from Year 7 to year 11 increase from 300 to 360 places from September 2023.
The proposal includes a single-storey extension to the main building and a further extension linking the existing Olympic Hall and Sports Hall blocks plus significant internal re-modelling.
The redevelopment proposals will create a new car park for staff at the northern end providing 30 spaces and the visitor car park will be integrated into the main staff car park providing 16 spaces which would result in a total of 253 car parking spaces for the school.
Wilmslow Town Council recommended refusal of this application on the grounds of additional traffic congestion at both the Holly Road and A34 entrances and the proposed solutions still being inadequate to resolve these issues. In addition, the proposal to create an entrance off Broadway Meadow does not appear to take into consideration the likelihood of a multi-storey car park being constructed on this site.
Eight objections were received, the issues raised included that the access solutions proposed do not go far enough to resolve existing congestion problems and pedestrian safety concerns, how can it be assured that the pick-up/drop-off at Broadway will not continue and proposed use of 6m tall lighting towers will impact nearby residents.
The planning officer concluded that whilst the site is located on an area of Existing Open Space, the areas of open space lost to development are very limited and there are sufficient benefits to outweigh this plus the proposals were also considered to be of an acceptable design.
Therefore, the planning officer is recommending approval of the plans subject to the receipt of a £8,000 towards parking (waiting) restrictions being introduced on Broadway and given that the Council cannot enter into a legal agreement with itself, it is recommended that permission is delegated back to the Head of Planning, in conjunction with the Chair of Northern Planning Committee, to approve, subject to this payment being made prior to the issuing of a decision notice.
The plans can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council website by searching for planning reference 20/2640M.