New Pont primary school given green light by committee

The current Darras Hall First School.
The current Darras Hall First School.

Plans for a new primary school to replace the current first school have been given the go-ahead.

The application, which had sparked 85 objections, was granted unanimous approval by Northumberland County Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

Darras Hall First School, Ponteland

Darras Hall First School, Ponteland

The new school will be on the same site, but it will sit in the opposite corner with the main access and car park off Middle Drive, rather than The Broadway. The existing car park will be maintained as a pick-up/drop-off area.

This means the new school can be built while pupils continue to use the existing school, which will then be demolished once the new building is complete.

The rest of the site will feature two multi-use games areas (MUGAs) and three grass playing pitches. An initial proposal for a floodlit 3G pitch, which led to an objection from Sport England due to the subsequent loss of playing fields, has been removed.

Two speakers, including from the town council, highlighted residents’ concerns, while headteacher Victoria Parr spoke in favour of the new facilities and what they can offer the children.

Coun Tony Reid said: “It’s a first-class investment for the community.”

Referring to parking and access, Coun Ian Hutchinson added: “Where the school is today, it has been very bad for some time. I think this is going to be a hell of a lot better.”

The application will go before the Darras Hall Estate Committee on Monday.