Portable building could be installed at Walsall school to help cope with demand

A portable building could be installed at a Walsall special school to help cope with increasing demand for places in the town.

The area where a temporary classrooms will be installed at Mary Elliot School in Walsall. PIC: Portakabin
The area where a temporary classrooms will be installed at Mary Elliot School in Walsall. PIC: Portakabin

Plans have been submitted to install the temporary two-storey cabin classroom at Mary Elliot School in Leamore Lane for the next two years.

The school, which has a 115-children capacity, is being expanded to take in more pupils but representatives said the permanent work won’t be completed until possibly early 2024.

Once complete the expansion of Mary Elliot will see a total of 15 new staff and 40 extra pupil places created.

The school, which sits in land classed as Green Belt, caters for youngsters aged between 11 and 19 who have severe and complex learning difficulties.

In the application, Portakabin said: “Walsall Council’s long term plan is to expand its special needs provision within its catchment area by providing

permanent new infrastructure at its existing school sites.

“The Mary Elliott School was identified for expansion, but because the new

build will take a period of time, possibly into early 2024, a temporary solution is needed.

“The proposed expansion of Mary Elliot School will be to house an additional eight staff and 20 pupils in the first year, and an additional seven staff and 20 pupils in the second year.

“To enable this the Portakabin Limited modular building will be installed and hired on a temporary contract for two years. The modular building will be located on hard and soft play areas within the school grounds.

“The proposed Portakabin Limited modular building meets a critical need, within close proximity to the adjacent existing building and visually it will not cause detriment to the surrounding green belt.

“The building can be removed with no lasting harm once the permanent extension is built hopefully in two years time.

“The project does undeniably create new buildings within the Greenbelt and therefore is a form of encroachment.

“However, the temporary modular building is being installed within the existing school boundaries, no development outside the school into virgin greenbelt is being proposed.

“Overall the scheme design takes into account the neighbouring context as well the existing policy documents, providing the school with temporary teaching provision.”

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