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New play area bid lodged at Swaffham school for transition

A Swaffham school which was recently targeted by vandals has submitted an application for a new outdoor play area.

The county council will consider the planning application from Swaffham CE Junior Academy, which includes free standing canopies.

The new external play area would be for the Hilary Block at the site and would facilitate the school’s future use as a primary school rather than a junior one.

It comes after the school said an act of vandalism in January had “come at the wrong time” as development plans began to be formulated.

A decision is expected to be made on the planning application soon.

A statement from the school reads: “The proposed alterations involve limited additions to an existing building within the school site.

“The proposed scale of the new canopy areas and hardstanding areas are modest and well designed to meet their function and compliment the appearance of the buildings and other hardstanding areas on the site.”

The application states the new hard play area will be surfaced with a mainly asphalt material which will be good for drainage.

Meanwhile, the height of the canopy areas would be 2.9 metres which are lower than the existing roof of the school building.

And the statement adds that the approach has “sought to limit impact on vegetation”.

The school is changing from a junior to a primary school, which will accommodate pupils ranging from 4 to 11 years rather than from 7 to 11.

Therefore the proposed works are required to “facilitate its future use as a primary school”.

A new ramp is also included in the application for the site, which is part of a larger educational campus which includes The Nicholas Hamond Academy.

The school state no change of use is required to the vehicular or pedestrian accesses at the site.

National Planning Policy Framework policy included in the statement reads: “It is important that a sufficient choice of school places is available to meet the needs of existing and new communities.

“Local planning authorities should take a proactive, positive and collaborative approach to meeting this requirement, and to development that will widen choice in education.” The applicant is the county council’s director of children’s services.

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