Following publication of local area plans several years ago, Mandeville Primary School was approached by HCC and the possibility of the school expansion was discussed. Due to three new housing development sites proposed for the area, there was a need to ensure that children who lived locally received an education in Sawbridgeworth, and the school has always been keen to support this. As the plans developed, the school and HCC continued meeting to maintain awareness of the situation.
The applications for planning permission for the housing developments were submitted to HCC, and, as often happens for housing development proposals, HCC negotiated with all three developers to draft a Section 106 agreement, which established the agreed funding that would be provided by each of the developers to support development of the enhanced infrastructure needed. The majority of the funding for the school expansion is derived from this Section 106 funding.
In the summer of 2021, HCC convened a meeting of their multidisciplinary team (MDT) with Mandeville Primary School governors and school leaders to begin planning in detail for the development and expansion of the Mandeville Primary School site, and HCC advised that the school should grow from one form of entry to two forms of entry, with the completion target of September 2023. Over the past year, the School Expansion team (SET) has worked intensively with many representatives from HCC and the architects to ensure the optimum design and plan was achieved. Views of the local community was gathered during a consultation phase managed by HCC. After many meetings and discussions, a site plan has been agreed that meets the needs of the school and is affordable.
The project now moves into the build phase, and initial preparation of the site has begun. It is anticipated that the building work will commence in October 2022. There will, of course, be times when adaptations will need to be made, and everyone involved will need to be flexible. And there will be many challenges during the year as the building work is ongoing. The contractors and the school representatives will continue to meet regularly to try to ensure that the works continue with minimal disruption to the pupils, staff, parents and our local community.
The school is eagerly anticipating the completion of the project, which should yield excellent facilities to continue to deliver the existing high quality teaching and learning via the broad and rich curriculum, as well the opportunity to offer the new facilities for community hire.