Plans to build second school site revealed

Baytree School at Locking Campus. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Baytree School at Locking Campus. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

A planning application has been submitted to build a second site for Baytree School.

Land adjacent to Brookfield Walk in Clevedon has been chosen as the preferred site, whittled down from a shortlist of 528 alternative spaces.

The site has proved controversial as parents and children have campaigned against the loss of greenbelt land, public open spaces and community facilities.

The majority of people against the plans said they were in favour of providing additional special needs school places but wanted another location to be used.

Ed Bowen-Roberts, headteacher of Baytree, said: “I can’t emphasise strongly enough how desperately we need our school to expand so that we can continue to provide education and support to children from across North Somerset with such significant needs.

Children and adults protested against the proposed Baytree School development in fields off Brookfie

Children and adults protested against the proposed Baytree School development in fields off Brookfield Walk in Clevedon. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

“In an ideal world we’d want to expand on a single site, but that’s just not possible for us.

“The proposals for the second site at Brookfield Walk are tremendously exciting and will allow us to continue with our mission to make sure that every child, regardless of their condition, can get the education and support they need to achieve life goals.”

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The current school site at The Campus, in Locking Castle, cannot expand its pupil numbers because its site is shared with Herons’ Moor Academy.

Plans submitted to North Somerset Council include classrooms, a recreation hall, a dining hall, a hydro-therapy pool and therapy rooms, plus external play areas for pupils aged three to 19.

Cllr Catherine Gibbons, the council’s executive member for children’s services, said: “This application forms part of a wider strategy to increase the numbers of places for children with special educational needs and disabilities that are desperately needed to meet increasing demand.

“If approved, it will ensure the school’s facilities across the two sites are appropriate to the higher numbers of pupils with profound and complex needs.

“The site at Brookfield Walk will accommodate up to 85 pupils and has been chosen because it has good access from across North Somerset, allowing for easier journeys for our children with the most severe needs.”

The council’s planning committee will discuss the application at its meeting in the autumn.