Source: Cumbria County Council Press Release
Planning permission has been granted to construct the new Furness Academy building within the grounds of the South Site - the former Parkview School in Barrow.
The proposal was approved at a meeting of the county council’s Development Control and Regulation Committee in Kendal today (Wed 23 March).
The joint Cumbria County Council and Kier Construction Ltd application said:
"Overall it is considered that a proper balance has been struck between providing necessary and relevant development in this location with the maintenance of a sense of openness and visual breaks in this built-up area. Building design and landscaping measures aid integration and a sense of place.
"Providing high quality facilities, in a purpose built facility, within a high quality setting is an inspiration that has long been in gestation. The opportunity to deliver this scheme for the benefit of Barrow’s future generations and the wider community should be taken."
The final siting of the building, to accommodate 1,200 pupils, was based on several factors, including the aim of reducing the physical impact of the building upon the direct outlook from residential properties on Park Drive and West Avenue.
The new building will be set over two and three storeys located on an existing sports pitch area. Pedestrian and vehicle access will be provided from Park Drive.
The facility will provide an indoor sports hall, multi use games area to the rear of the new buildings, an all weather sports pitch to the north and will utilise existing sports fields.
The positioning also ensures minimal disruption to students’ learning during construction, which is due for completion in 2012.
It is proposed the existing Parkview buildings will remain in use until 2014 when pupil numbers are predicted to fall to the planned capacity of 1,200.
As part of the planning application process 22 letters of support for the scheme were received and six letters of objection. A petition was also submitted with approximately five hundred signatures opposed to the positioning of the new build.
Cllr Duncan Fairbairn, cabinet member responsible for schools and education, said:
"This is a pivotal moment for the future of secondary education in Barrow. As we have seen with the recent completion of the first academy building in Carlisle, a purpose built state of the art facility is proving an inspiration to both staff and students.
"I am convinced the people of Barrow will come to realise what a superb development this is as the construction project moves ever closer."