Additional Support Needs School, East Dunbartonshire

Following East Dunbartonshire Council’s first online Pre-Determination Hearing, Councillors agreed to support the approval of a new £20m Additional Support Needs School (ASN) in Waterside, East Dunbartonshire.

This new facility will replace the existing, outdated facilities at Merkland and Campsie View school, whilst additionally, the development will include the relocation of an existing football pitch, improvements to the adjacent road junction, and upgrades to the surrounding children’s play facilities and sports changing pavilion.

The school site is located within the green belt and on protected open space, therefore the planning policy challenges were considerable in demonstrating that the project was appropriate in this location. Nevertheless, it is testament to the Design Team (Norr Architects, McLaughlin & Harvey, Pick Everard, LDA Design and Baker Hicks) our positive working relationship with East Dunbartonshire Council’s Planning Department and extensive stakeholder engagement that we were able to successfully address these matters and see the application be recommended for approval.

The Council’s decision follows an extensive consultation process, involving school staff, parents and residents who have engaged with the Design Team throughout the process and helped inform the final proposals.

THE COUNCILLORS DECISION IS AN IMPORTANT STEP TOWARDS MEETING THE NEEDS OF SOME OF THE MOST VULNERABLE YOUNG PEOPLE IN EAST DUNBARTONSHIRE BY DELIVERING A PURPOSE BUILT, STATE-OF-THE-ART SCHOOL WHILE AT THE SAME TIME SEEKING TO IMPROVE COMMUNITY FACILITIES IN THE LOCAL WATERSIDE AREA.

Christine Dalziel, Associate Planner

The Design Team were very aware of how important the design and functionality of the building was for the children who will be attending the school and therefore dialogue undertaken with the school stakeholders was key in shaping the project. The building itself will extend to around 7,600m² across two-storeys of development and will include teaching and sensory spaces for early years through to secondary-aged pupils. Double height spaces will be created in the core of the building to allow for skylights to be installed, providing natural light throughout the school.

Classrooms are located on the outer edges of the building to allow direct access to the outdoor teaching areas and roof gardens have been located on the first floor to allow outdoor access from all second floor classrooms.

Within the two-storey building, a sensory trail is to be created to allow a safe and interactive route for all pupils to allow access across both floors and will include opportunities to occupy space with sensory ‘caves’, with such sensory spaces being of great benefit in this purpose-built school. Outside with the school building, formal and natural play spaces will be created, including sensory gardens and a multi-use games area.

Project Details

  • Two-storey, 7,600m² development
  • Teaching and sensory spaces for early years through to secondary-aged pupils
  • Upgraded children’s play facilities and sports changing pavilion
  • Relocation of existing football pitch
  • Outdoor teaching areas 
  • Roof garden

As a result of the feedback received during the consultation process, the proposed development includes the relocation and upgrading of this sports pitch to the east of the site. Furthermore, junction improvements will be delivered including the widening of Bankhead Road to form a dedicated left turning lane and a new right turn lane on Waterside Road.

Given the financial interest of the council in the proposed development and the departure from green belt policy, the proposal must now be notified to Scottish Government Ministers – we await feedback.

Our Scotland team are part of a large project team led by contractors McLaughlin and Harvey – on behalf of East Dunbartonshire Council’s (EDC) Major Asset Team who have been tasked with delivering the Local Authority’s key capital projects.

This is one of three projects our Scotland team have/are working on at present for East Dunbartonshire Council’s Major Asset Team. Find out more about their involvement with the £40.9m redevelopment of Allander Leisure Centre and Adult Resource Centre and a new £20m Additional Support Needs School in Waterside, East Dunbartonshire.

ImagesNorr Architects