Exciting New Plans For Thornhill Primary

First images have appeared on what the newly enlarged Thornhill Primary school will look like. A reserved matters planning application has been submitted, CB/19/03820/RM, and this number can be searched at the CBC planning applications website.

ECD Architects have been appointed by Central Bedfordshire Council to deliver an expansion scheme to the existing Thornhill Primary School, located in Houghton Regis. The proposal will run parallel to the light refurbishment works of the current facilities at the existing school on-site, considering the masterplan as a whole and ensuring connectivity between the two sites.

This service is delivered via Keegans multidisciplinary design consultancy services.

A pre-application meeting with Central Bedfordshire Council Planners took place in August this year.

Site boundary

The new school would be built on the current northeast boundary of Tithe Farm on former agricultural land, and reuse the old school building after internal reconfiguration and decoration.

Completed vision.

The former buildings at (16) and the new buildings at (2)  would be surrounded by new housing as indicated below in grey. From the initial outline planning for the Linmere development it was always intended that the new school building would be a corner facing building onto a new local centre.

A new road is currently being built from Sundon Road to serve access to the new school, homes, and a new local centre. and that is partly the reason why Sundon Road is now closed to traffic during the construction work. A bus route to serve the School Road and Park Street is proposed.

Thornhill currently has just 1 form of entry; the new school will have 3 forms of entry. Designers considered various options on how best to manage this, whilst making sure that the new school building would fit into its allocated space, and be cost-effective.  It was finally concluded to progress with Nursery- Year 1 to be accommodated within the existing building and upper years within the new facility. This proposal requires a limited amount of work to the existing building, allowing the school to remain operational during the construction of the new school facility and not impact on the pupils learning.

Playground at the new building

Frontage facing the new local centre

The exisiting school building would have some reconfiguration. The existing school currently lacks an adequate number of WCs. New construction works consist of altering storage spaces into additional WCs. A new door is also to be constructed to help with the coordination and flow of circulation as the layout and use of some rooms are to be changed.

The Passivhaus approach

This approach to design building makes designers look at very high standards of energy and thermal efficiency. The approach would put Thornhill Primary School at the forefront of low carbon educational facilities. The Passivhaus approach seeks to improve the buildings overall performance; reduce carbon emissions, minimise energy requirement and consumption through reducing heating, cooling and ventilation requirements by using a Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) system, with natural stack ventilation for cooling.

For further information on Passivhaus system and the other considerations within this application please refer to the Design & Access statement for the application.

Linmere.com is the website for the development. CB/12/03613 is the outline plan for Linmere and includes 5150 homes, associated works, and infrastructure.

Find out more about the plans at the Central Bedfordshire Planning website and search for CB/19/03820/RM (direct link to documents). Comments can be sent by email to planning@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Discuss planning applications on Houghton Regis Planning Applications Facebook Group.

Source: Written by Alan D Winter, Houghton Regis News Desk, based on planning application information. Images from the planning applications.

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