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Plan approved for delayed school expansion

By Gurdip Thandi | Walsall | Education | Published:

A long-awaited extension to a school has moved a step closer after planners gave the thumbs up to the latest proposal.

St Michael’s CE Primary School in Pelsall has been given the go-ahead to build a new block featuring two classrooms as well as an extension for storage space for PE equipment.

Once complete, the school will be able to increase the number of pupils on its roll by 15 each year for the next few years.

The bid to increase the size of St Michael’s was originally given the green light in 2017 but has been hit with delays and rocketing costs.

In February, Walsall Council’s cabinet was told how the cost of increasing capacity had more than doubled from £908,000 to £1.9 million as a result of problems with a contractor.

This in turn led to a delay with a revised programme timetable for a September 2020 completion date being agreed by bosses.

The approved application sees the classroom block slightly bigger than what was agreed back in 2018.

In the application, agents Baily Garner said: “The proposal has changed by five sqm to the PE store and 12 sqm to the classroom extension to the rear of the school.

“The change has occurred to best meet the needs of the school. Proposed pupil numbers remain as per the previous application.

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“The number of car parking spaces has reduced to give 28 spaces. This change is following drainage investigations undertaken during technical design.

Back in February, the report to cabinet said: “The contractor failed to perform in terms of provision of information and cost control, both of which could not be addressed after an exhaustive process with the framework managers, and, following legal advice, the council terminated the contractor engagement.

“The revised costs have been reviewed by external consultant quantity surveyors from Pick Everard who confirm these to be consistent with achievable open market costs and therefore represent value for money.”

Gurdip Thandi

By Gurdip Thandi
@Gurdo

Local Democracy Reporter covering Walsall.

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