New school and community centre get green light
October 05 2020
Approval has been given for a new secondary school and community building in Knowle.
The site is the former Merrywood School, which closed in 2000. Since then the buildings have been used by The Park Community Centre for a range of activities and charity/social enterprises.
The current Park Community Centre facilities are in a poor state of repair, they are costly to maintain and run, and are inefficiently spread across a cluster of existing classroom and former school facilities.
The initial work will be to transform the community area and sports hall before Oasis Community Learning, which runs several schools in Bristol and nationwide, will submit planning applications for the new school building.
A statement by architects AWW said: "This is a development of new flexible and purpose-built accommodation for the Park Community Centre to house the range of organisations currently located on the site and meet changing community needs.
"The new buildings will collectively provide approximately 4,200sqm floorspace and will be used by a range of organisations.
"The existing sports hall is proposed to be retained and enhanced as part of proposals, including an extension. providing new floorspace. This element of the project is subject to securing the necessary funding.
"The school site proposals include the development of a new secondary school. The re-provision of The Park Community Centre’s accommodation enables demolition of the old school buildings and the development of the new school.
"The new school building will not affect the existing playing fields area within the site.
"The playing fields will be retained and enhanced, including intended dual community use."
Local councillor Chris Davies said: "Both Cllr Gary Hopkins and I are very pleased this has been approved and will give this development our full support."
A spokeswoman for Oasis Community learning said:"Oasis Community Learning is delighted that the outline planning permission for a new academy on Daventry Road has been approved. Our partners, the DfE and Bristol City Council, will now begin work on submitting detailed plans for the local planning authority to review. This marks an important step forward in the project to deliver an exceptional secondary academy that is passionate about the progress of every student, for a local community that we are extremely proud to be a part of."