Disabled students set to benefit from huge new teaching block at high school

More disabled students will be able to attend St John Fisher High School in Wigan after their redevelopment plans were approved.

By George Lythgoe
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 12:30 pm

A recent planning committee meeting gave the green light for a new three-storey teaching block with disabled access – something the current site lacks.

The redevelopment of the existing Beech Hill school site will include the demolition of existing school buildings, a new sports block, a four storey temporary teaching block, new sports courts, and a reconfiguration of car parking and access.

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An artist's impression of the new block at St John Fisher High

This will not lead to an increase in the number of pupils that can attend the school though.

“The proposed building is organised as a single block with triple-height spaces including the dining area, main hall and drama studio at its heart, internally and spatially on site,” the report said.

“The Chapel also forms a key space at the heart of the school, directly adjacent to the main hall and dining and surrounded by the pastoral facilities.

Teaching and support spaces form the perimeter of the block ensuring classrooms and office spaces benefit from natural light and allowing for centralised circulation.”

Plans to use the playing fields next to the school for a temporary car park whilst the redevelopment works are ongoing have been axed following dozens of complaints from nearby residents.

“Following the receipt of a number of letters of objection on this specific matter, the applicant has positively responded to the concerns raised in this regard,” a report said.

“As such, the application has been amended so as to remove this element from the scheme, which now is no longer proposed or part of this development.”

The fact nobody was at the planning committee at Wigan Town Hall to object to the plans showed that this issue had been correctly addressed, Coun Laura Flynn said.

Coun Flynn went on to praise the wonderful plans that address the issue of the lack of accessibility for those with mobility problems.