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People invited to have their say on the next stage of plans to create additional places for SEND pupils

Published 6 July 2021
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People can now have their say on designs to create a new school build for SEND pupils which will provide much needed additional spaces.

The planning application for Silverwood School at its Rowde campus will extend the existing campus to provide a high quality provision for 350 pupils by September 2023 if agreed.  A further phase of the programme will deliver 50 more places for Silverwood by September 2024.

The application is now online (opens new window) and people have until 5 August to comment. The proposals include creating a "school within a school" feel with a community of small teaching clusters that will provide a range of specialist teaching spaces, therapeutic support, and quiet dining. There will also be a hydrotherapy pool, a new all-weather sport pitch, new playing fields, landscaping, and ecological enhancements.

The designs have been shaped by feedback from a series of workshops with the school community, local people, families and staff. There have also been general online meetings for people to share their thoughts on early designs. Now will be the opportunity to review the detailed plans in the application.

Today Wiltshire Council's cabinet also agreed additional funding for the costs of the build should planning permission be given. 

The request is for an additional £5.3m to meet rising costs in materials in the construction market but also to address the unique nature of the site to protect its biodiversity. Appropriate mitigation has increased the costs to approximately £38m.

Councillors were asked to use the funds in the capital schemes budget to meet the costs. Earlier reports to cabinet had indicated costs could be between £33m and £39m. Silverwood school is based across three sites at Rowde, Trowbridge and Chippenham.

Cllr Jane Davies Cabinet Member for SEND said: "We are at a key stage of ensuring we have enough school places for our SEND pupils so they can be educated in Wiltshire and enjoy learning close to home. 

"I hope people will look over the planning application and send in their comments as we have welcomed public participation throughout this project.

"Silverwood pupils enjoy a unique setting which we want to preserve for everyone's enjoyment.  This funding will enable this important build programme to proceed and secure much-needed additional places for our learners with special educational needs into the future."

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