Plans submitted for new Yardley Wood school

A planning application to build a new secondary and sixth form school in Yardley Wood has been submitted to Birmingham City Council.

The long-awaited planning application for Christ Church Secondary Academy was submitted to the council in February and if approved will open in 2021.

Over 1,100 places will be available at the school with 900 in secondary and 250 at the sixth form which will provide 16 study areas.

Playing field losses

The development will mean a permanent loss of some of the playing fields but developers vow to greatly improve the quality of the pitches retained after the development and replace the lost grass pitches with a new 3G artificial pitch.

The loss of some of the playing fields has seen some criticism from the non-departmental public body, Sport England but understands improvement to the pitches and sports facilities outweigh the loss of the overall area. In addition, the proposed community facilities within the new sports block will also replace the existing facilities used by Maypole FC.

Traffic concerns

Increased traffic concerns raised by local residents during the public consultation have seen the inclusion of a pupil dropoff/pickup area to help manage increased traffic levels. An access road serving the school car park will also allow parents to gather within the site during peak times helping reduce the need to park on nearby residential streets.

Because of parking concerns the council has agreed to increase the permissible number of parking spaces from 75 to 122 spaces to reduce the impact of parking-related problems associated with the school.

School places

A statement included with the plans said the rationale for the new secondary school was to address Birmingham City Council’s identified strategic shortage of secondary school places from 2021 onwards in this part of south Birmingham.

Council & Department for Education Statistics:

  • Selly Oak school places planning area: Current SCAP data (2018) shows a shortfall for Year 7 places in 2021/22 rising to 276 by 2023/24.
  • Hall Green school places planning area: Current SCAP data (2018) shows a shortfall of 131 Year 7 places in 2021/22 rising to 304 by 2023/24