Plans revealed for new Calderdale specialist school in former mill complex

Plans have been submitted to transform a Calderdale mill into a school for pupils with specialist education needs.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 8:00 am

Education provider Witherslack Group has submitted proposals to change the use of offices into a new specialist primary school centre at Shelf Mills, Wade House Road.

It is proposed to change the use of the building to create a school for a maximum of 60 children with Special Educational Needs aged 9 to 18 years old.

The school would be staffed by 45 members and the school day for pupils would be 9am to 3pm on weekdays for a school year of 38 weeks.

Planning Agents AIP Architects acting on behalf of Witherslack Group said it has has identified, through its working relationships with local authorities and other statutory bodies in the North East, the need for a new specialist day facility.

"Witherslack’s require additional facilities for West Yorkshire and determined that a school in this area would give them a facility on the western side of the sub-county and help to place children closer to their homes.

"This is needed to provide for the identified growing need and to reduce the travel times for pupils. By creating a more sustainably acceptable arrangement for children with specialist educational needs, the siting of a specialist school at Halifax would be highly desirable."

It is being proposed the site will provide for two primary and eleven secondary and vocational classrooms, each accommodating up to eight children, arranged on the ground, first and second floors of the building.

Specialist rooms for science, art, IT and food technology, amongst other subjects, will also be accommodated.

Other necessary facilities will be incorporated, including a dining hall and catering kitchen, gymnasium, changing rooms and toilets. The existing canteen will be utilised as the kitchen and dining hall for the children.

"Overall, it is concluded that the proposed change of use of the building and site to a specialist day school is wholly appropriate in planning terms, and such a use can be satisfactorily accommodated without having a material adverse impact on the surroundings to the site. Indeed the school would be regarded as sustainable development giving rise to a beneficial use not only of the site but also a use which contributes to the area in general," it states in the design and access statement.

Witherslack Group is a specialist education and care for children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs, communication difficulties (autistic spectrum disorder; Asperger’s Syndrome; speech, language and communication needs), ADHD and complex learning needs.