Demolition and rebuild of Mansfield special needs school could get planning permission

Yeoman Park Academy. Credit: Yeoman Park Academy
By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter

A demolition and rebuild plan for a Mansfield school for children with special educational needs could be approved this month.

The Yeoman Park Academy, in Park Hall Road, Mansfield Woodhouse, has been included in the Government’s School Rebuilding Programme.

Under the plans, the flat-roofed 1960s and 1970s buildings will be demolished and replaced with a new purpose-built facility.

The project is one of a series of Nottinghamshire schools included in the Department for Education (DfE) scheme, including other sites in Mansfield.

Once complete, the rebuilt school would cater for 138 pupils aged between three and 18 with a “wide range of abilities”.

The new school buildings would be located on part of the existing playing fields connecting with the nearby Manor Academy secondary school.

Its aim is to support pupils with autism, profound and multiple learning difficulties and severe learning difficulties.

Areas of the school would be separated by category of age and ability, planning papers reveal.

The plans hope to provide “model learning spaces [to] enable the school to deliver an excellent and appropriate educational experience in an environment where students can flourish and reach their full potential”.

Now Mansfield District Council’s planning committee will meet to discuss the proposals and councillors have been recommended to approve the rebuild.

Papers say the rebuilt school would have space for primary, secondary and sixth-form levels.

If approved, it would feature a part-single, part-two-storey flat-roofed building roughly shaped like a U.

It has been designed to offer a shared assembly hall, dining hall and library, with main teaching areas located off and above this central area.

Each teaching cluster would have its own external area, while there would also be a shared games area and a new grass sports field.

Papers add the new school would use the existing vehicular access off Park Hill Road, with new parking, turning and drop-off areas planned.

This would include 53 staff parking spaces, five visitor spaces, nine minibus drop-off spaces, four accessible bays, four minibus parking spaces, 10 covered cycle spaces and four motorcycle spaces.

As a result of the development, the school will support 28 more pupils than previously, while staffing numbers would increase by 12.

The DfE is funding the rebuild for the equivalent of 120 pupils, with Nottinghamshire County Council offering a “significant contribution” for the remaining 18.

Mansfield District Council’s planning committee will discuss the plans on June 12 and councillors are recommended to approve the scheme.

Mansfield District Council

In papers, the council’s planning department said: “It is considered this is a positive development that would bring about significant improvements to Yeoman Park Academy and its surrounding environment.”

Speaking when the rebuild was first announced, Courtney Hoop, the school’s principal, added: “Our core focus is always on ensuring our children and young people are given every opportunity to demonstrate what they can do and to reach their full potential – regardless of any physical disabilities or barriers to learning that they face.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that, as part of this new development, we will be able to offer an enhanced teaching and learning environment. Our children deserve the very best.”

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