PLANS to relocate Kenilworth School to a new single site in the town have been given the green-light.
Warwick District Council planning committee has approved proposals which will see a new combined secondary school and sixth form developed at Southcrest Farm in Glasshouse Lane. It is expected to be ready for the start of the school year in September 2021.
It will replace the current school at Leyes Lane and sixth form at Rouncil Lane and will feature improved teaching facilities, sports pitches, including multi-use hard surface courts and an astroturf pitch, and an indoor sports hall.
There will also be walking, cycling and car parking facilities, including drop-off zones.
The move will allow the school to increase capacity to 2,200 pupils – some 440 more than currently – and meet a growing demand for places with the town’s population set to expand rapidly in the next decade. Kenilworth has been earmarked for hundreds of new homes under the district council’s local plan and some 6,000 new residents are set to see the town’s population increase by a fifth.
Kenilworth School head Hayden Abbott was delighted to see the plans approved.
He said: “This is absolutely terrific news and a pivotal point in the development of our new school. We are looking forward immensely to the next stage of this exciting journey.
“It is also going to incorporate a wide range of sustainable design features and energy-efficient measures. We will be reducing energy demand using passive measures and make use of high efficiency but low carbon alternatives.
“A Green Team of students is committed to driving forward the agenda for sustainability. Their focus is on changing the habits and routines of staff and students by creating a plastic-free zone and introducing measures to prevent litter and reduce plastic wrapping. We are also recycling materials where they can be used in the curriculum, for example in product design, textiles, catering and art.
“I have no doubt that the future education and life chances of young people in Kenilworth will be greatly enhanced by the new school.”
Mr Abbot added the outdoor sporting provision would provide first-class opportunities during the school day for pupils from both Kenilworth School and local primary schools, and in the evenings for the community and local businesses as part of the community lettings programme.
MP Jeremy Wright said: “I am delighted to hear that the building of a new school will go forward. I am convinced it will be a huge benefit to pupils in the town and beyond and to the broader community, and I congratulate all those who have contributed to reaching this stage.”
Sue Casey, chair of the Kenilworth Multi Academy Trust, said: “We are thrilled with this news as this is an important milestone in the future of Kenilworth School and Sixth Form. We look forward to the opportunities which will be provided at the new school.”
Shirley Whiting, a trustee who has been involved with the school and the new build project for a number of years, added: “With the granting of planning permission, we are now in a great position to move towards developing the new school on a single site. This will be a high functioning, outstanding educational facility for the families of Kenilworth for generations to come.”
There were objections from some residents whose concerns included air and noise pollution, road safety fears, and the impact of car park lighting on neighbouring homes.