Permission only just granted at school site

Temporary classrooms have been used at Leyland St Mary's school
Temporary classrooms have been used at Leyland St Mary's school

Planning permission has now been granted for temporary classrooms at a fire-hit Leyland high school - almost 11 months after the blaze.

The Guardian recently reported that ‘portable classrooms’, a drama studio, library, and other temporary facilities being used at Leyland St Mary’s Catholic Technology College since the blaze last September, did not actually have planning approval.

Retrospective plans were submitted to Lancashire County Council in June, by architectural and planning consultancy practice Cassidy and Ashton, which is also behind the project to rebuild the school.

The plans, which have now been granted retrospective permission, relate to temporary classroom blocks, a staff room, library, drama studio, changing rooms, toilets and showers, an access road from the car park, storage containers, a topsoil ‘bund’ and security fencing.

Work to rebuild the parts of the school which were damaged in the arson attack is also underway, and is set to be complete by September 2015.

The £7.5m project has been designed in such a way to restore lost teaching spaces and enhance the overall school environment, providing classrooms, new science and technology departments, extended dining areas, car parks and outdoor space.

The new buildings, covering 3,500 sq m, will provide high-quality new facilities for the benefit of staff and pupils.

The existing frontage will be enhanced with a new extension to the dining room together with new main entrance, associated landscaping and car parking.

The design has created two secure courtyard areas at the heart of the development allowing both social and teaching outdoor spaces.

John Turner Construction Group is undertaking the project having recently been appointed by architectural and planning consultancy practice and area surveyors for Liverpool Archdiocese, Cassidy and Ashton.

Lawrence McBurney, associate at Cassidy and Ashton, said: “It was important that the design for the rebuild resulted in a single cohesive school building, so creating a new extension at the front of the remaining property, remodelling parts of the interior and designing an internal courtyard space were all important elements of the design.”

John Clarke, managing director at John Turner Construction Group, added: “We are absolutely delighted to have been appointed for the redevelopment of Leyland St Mary’s Catholic High School after a very competitive tender process.

“We look forward to working with Cassidy and Ashton, Liverpool Archdiocese and Lancashire County Council in the construction of high quality teaching and social spaces for staff and pupils.”