Plan to knock down centre for new school
PLANS to demolish a Brislington youth and community centre and replace it with a new junior school have been submitted to the council for approval.
Proposals have been drawn up to build a new larger home for St Anne's Junior School on the site of Wicklea Centre.
To cater for an increasing demand for places in the area, the junior school would move 500 yards from its existing site neighbouring St Anne's Infant School in Langton Court Road. This would create room for an expansion of the infant school, with the building being adapted to meet the needs of the younger children. It is proposed the new school would open in September 2013 with an increased intake of 90 pupils.
Earlier this year, members of community groups based at Wicklea said they would have nowhere to meet if the building in Wick Road was knocked down.
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Youth clubs, fitness classes, computer lessons, after-school clubs, a church, lunch club and a weekly community cafe feared they may not find an alternative home in Brislington.
But, according to the planning application for the new school, many of them will be able to be accommodated in dedicated community facilities included in the design for the school. Groups will have access to a multi-gym, kitchen, toilet, and two linked halls and storage space which can be used out of school hours.
The planning application said all the community groups apart from the city council's youth club had already moved out of the centre. Many displaced groups have relocated to St Anne's Church.
A statement in the application said: "The internal facilities lost by the demolition are largely replaced by the new building. There is a modest element of 100 per cent community use that can be used during school hours. After hours this community part opens up to the two linked school halls which are supported by further community storage."
Concerns were raised by council officers about the safety at the junction of Wick Road with Station Road, and the poor visibility at the potential crossing to the school site.
In response, road improvements have been proposed including a new raised zebra and the relocation of the existing zebra crossing outside the nearby health centre to maximise on-street parking.