Planning Application for New Post 16

Exciting news as a planning application has been submitted for another new post-16 and teaching building for a large multi Academy Trust in Derbyshire. The project originally started in 2019 as a school development plan and feasibility study to explore options to expand the school to support anticipated demand for increased pupil places from nearby housing developments. Working alongside Spencer Academies Trust and the Derbyshire District Council, Thinking Buildings have worked hard to deliver a scheme that meets the Academy’s needs whilst working within tight budget constraints. 

This £2.7 million building represents an exciting opportunity for the future Heanor Gate Spencer Academy, an ‘Outstanding’ secondary school, to showcase its post-16 provision within Amber Valley. The proposals are for a new two storey building, making better use of the site by replacing a section of car park and roundabout. The building is efficiently designed, but with a vibrant character, to provide a strong focal point on the school site. 

The ground floor is dedicated to post-16 students, with a social space and study room, while the first floor shared teaching facilities include two new classrooms, a seminar room, and a new ICT suite. Outside, the post-16 social space is extended to create an external dining and seating area, along with a dedicated post-16 entrance into the academy from the adjacent car park. The car park has also been restructured and resurfaced to accommodate the new building and to improve the layout.

The delivery of the project has a strong sustainability agenda and the energy and carbon strategy will be developed to exceed the standards set by the current regulations. The building includes the following measures: 

– Energy efficient building form

– Enhanced thermal efficiency and air tightness

– Heat pump technology for heating and hot water

– Energy efficient LED lighting

– Hybrid ventilation with heat recovery

– Photovoltaic panels providing on-site electrical energy

This high performing building plays an important part in meeting the Trust’s aspirations to minimise and de-carbonise its estate and buildings. 

Thinking Buildings have fully managed the design process, alongside assisting the Trust to negotiate, securing Section 106 funding for the development and planned expansion. 

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