Go-ahead expected for primary school on former Leeds leisure centre site

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A NEW primary school is set to be built on the derelict site of a former Leeds leisure centre.

Plans for the new school, on land which once housed the South Leeds Leisure Centre in Beeston Road, Hunslet, are expected to get the go-ahead. The site was first earmarked for a new school in 2011.

A report to be debated by Leeds council planning chiefs today says the scheme will deliver “new and essential educational accommodation on a site which is partly derelict and in need of redevelopment and investment”.

The new school would be called Lane End Primary and would accommodate up to 420 children as well as a 26-place nursery. An extension could also be built if required.

The school would be ready to open from the start of the 2015/16 academic year.

The YEP has recently reported that Leeds faces a massive shortage of primary school spaces as the birth rate booms and the city expands.

A Local Government Association (LGA) report had warned that the numbers of primary school pupils in Leeds will rise to 69,641 by 2016/17. There is currently capacity for just over 65,000 pupils, meaning more than 4,000 new places have to be provided.

The site of the proposed new school is partly brownfield land - the bit that housed the leisure centre.

However there is also a large area of playing field and public green space which will be lost as part of the proposals. To mitigate for that loss, the new school’s multi-use games area will be open for use by the public on a booking basis, although it would still be managed by the school.

The school build is part of an expansive programme being spearheaded by Leeds City Council to deal with the school spaces shortage.

Plans to expand 22 of the city’s existing primary schools have also been gathering pace in recent months.

At the end of 2013, the city was handed an extra £40 million in Government funding to help tackle the crisis.

The money was part of a £2.35bn fund to help councils across the country provide extra places up to 2017. Leeds is to get £19,430,969 in 2015/16 and £20,402,517 in 2016/17.

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