Some children and young people have complex special educational needs that cannot easily be met within a mainstream school setting. Gloucestershire do not currently have enough special school places locally to meet demand so some children attend special schools out of the county or go to independent schools to have their needs met.
Cotswold Transport Planning were appointed to consider the specific on-site transportation requirements and assess the impact on the local highway network of a new 75-place SEMH school for children and young people with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs in Brockworth, Gloucestershire. While focusing on SEMH needs, the school will also support children with autism and speech, language and communication needs.
Issues & Solutions
Given the sites location near the A417 Trunk Road and that the catchment of the school encompasses the whole of Gloucestershire, significant pre-application consultation was undertaken with both the local highway authority, Gloucestershire County Council, and Highways England, who manage the strategic road network. This ensured that each key stage of assessment could be agreed prior to submission of the planning application.
Another critical element of the scheme was to develop a system to manage drop off and pick up for students given that the majority will arrive and depart via taxis. Through liaison with the Learn@ Multi Academy Trust, who will run the school, a strategy has been developed to ensure that for the pick-up period, which is when demand will be at its greatest, taxis will wait in a designated area and no vehicle movements are permitted by staff during this period so that safe access to the taxis can be achieved.
Through the work undertaken by Cotswold Transport Planning for the Transport Assessment, Travel Plan and Construction Environmental Management Plan, it was demonstrated that the proposed development would not have an unacceptable impact on highway safety or that the residual cumulative impacts on the road network would be severe.
The new Brockworth SEMH School has been granted planning permission.