10:02AM, Friday 14 September 2018
A special educational needs school will move to land currently used by a shooting club if councillors sanction the plans.
Forest Bridge School wants to relocate because its current site, in Chiltern Road, is ‘totally unsuited’ to the educational needs
of children with autism spectrum disorder, according to a planning statement.
An application to develop a partially two-storey building with space for games, landscaping and parking on land used by Maidenhead Target Shooting Club in Braywick Road has been sent to the borough.
In the planning statement, architecture and design company TP Bennett said: “The aim of the current proposal is to provide a permanent home for the school with a suitable environment and a high level of therapeutic support to meet these needs.”
It argues that the plans constitute ‘very special circumstances’ which ‘outweigh the harm caused by the inappropriate development in the greenbelt’.
The school will fit 96 pupils aged between four and 16 across classes of eight pupils, with 120 members of staff working there.
The planning statement notes that during a public consultation, held in July at the Maidenhead Rugby Club, one resident from Walker Road opposed the plans on greenbelt grounds while 22 visitors were in favour.
Of those 22, 18 were parents or staff at Forest Bridge, two were from nearby Braywick Heath Nursery, and two were residents.
Elizabeth Farnden, headteacher at Forest Bridge, said: “We are really excited that planning for our new build has now been submitted.
“If all goes well, we are hoping to be in our purpose-built school by September 2020.
“This will mean we will have more pupil places available to meet the needs of children with autism through our offer of an individualised curriculum based on applied behaviour analysis.”
Maidenhead Target Shooting Club has been attempting to relocate. A date for the application to be decided has not yet been announced.
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