Plans submitted for first phase of £2.5m expansion of St Helens primary school

The scope of work at Bleak Hill is to provide an extension to the west of the existing school hall
The scope of work at Bleak Hill is to provide an extension to the west of the existing school hall

Plans for the first phase of a £2.5 million expansion to Bleak Hill Primary School have been submitted.


St Helens Council approved proposals to expand Bleak Hill, in Windle, back in January in order to meet local demand for places from September 2019.

The school was originally built to accommodate 70 children per year group.

Under the proposals, the school will accommodate 75 pupils into reception year for the September 2019 intake, rising to a permanent 90 places for the 2020 intake.

The estimated cost of the overall proposed scheme is £2,555,000.

The total cost can be funded by a grant awarded by the Department for Education to ensure that adequate numbers of school places are available.

The expansion of the school is subject to planning permission being granted.

St Helens Council has now received a planning application for the first phase of the work.

The scope of work is to provide an extension to the west of the existing school hall.

A design and access statement submitted with the plans says this will create an additional 170sqm (1,830sqft) multi-use hall space with amenity and storage facilities.

In addition to this, it is proposed that the existing playground is “reconfigured and enlarged” to prevent any loss of area to the playground.

The statement says the proposed scheme will allow the school to “accommodate the additional cohort and enhance the dining provision “.

It adds that the proportions in the hall will provide a light and positive appearance for facilities “suitable for 21st century education”.

“The design proposal for the new hall does adjust the overall footprint of the existing school, however the single storey extension will appropriately adhere to the current scale and massing of the school building and will be carried out in an appropriate and modern style complimenting the existing school fabric,” the statement says.

“The scale and proportions of the elevations are designed to provide a contemporary glazed architectural style, penetrating the newly created spaces with natural light to create an inspiring and encouraging learning environment.”

The statement says the primary aim of the scheme is to maintain the appearance of the existing school and use materials to “compliment” the surroundings.

“This modern approach using high quality materials and good quality workmanship reflects well on the school and the local community in general,” the statement says.

The plans say the design of the development aims to promote access for all users, including disabled people, older people and younger children, and to ensure everyone can move across the site on “equal terms”.

The increase to a future 90 pupil intake will also be facilitated under the plans, although this will be subject to a separate planning application at a later date.
The plans are currently awaiting decision.