A consultation event will give West Leeds residents a say on plans to transform historic Armley Grange into a specialist school for children with a range of needs.
Grade II Listed Armley Grange has been bought by Horizon Care and Education for use as a specialist school for children aged seven to 19 years.
Horizon say there is significant need nationally for specialist provision for children with a range of needs, including those with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) difficulties, autism, ADHD and other conditions.
A Horizon spokesperson said:
“These children and young people struggle to access education in larger settings and require smaller more specialised schools to support them to reach their potential.”
Horizon aim to create a new access to the Armley Grange Drive site, reconfiguring the current 15 on-site car parking spaces, along with the creation of additional parking spaces.
They say trees will be protected, with additional specimens planted.
Ahead of a planning application being submitted to Leeds City Council, Horizon are hosting a public consultation event to invite the views of residents and help shape the plans for the refurbishment of the existing buildings.
This will take place on Wednesday 11th December at The Better Leeds Community Centre, Burley Lodge Road from 1pm until 7pm.
A Horizon spokesperson said:
“We are excited to have secured this very special site for our new school, which will be an inspirational setting to teach local children with special and individual needs.
“Horizon take the duty of protection of this key heritage asset for the future of Armley very seriously and we are working closely with the Local Conservation Officer in addressing their hopes for the building.
“Parking on site is to be doubled to provide sufficient on-site parking for staff, parents and visitors to avoid pressures on residents’ parking.
“We look forward to meeting with as many local residents on the 11th December as possible and will be happy to discuss our plans with them on the day.”
Horizon added that it is important that schools become valuable and respected community assets, supporting the education of local children and young people. The spokesperson added:
“In addition, we look to support local employment and our new school will create a range of full and part time jobs from qualified teachers and teaching assistants to administrators, gardeners, maintenance, cleaning, catering and other indirect jobs.”
Subject to the proposals being acceptable to Leeds City Council’s planning department and attaining approval from the Department for Education, Horizon hope to open in September 2020 with their first 25 students.
It is anticipated that after the Grange has undergone repair and refurbishment that it will support classrooms a further 25 students and open in Spring/Summer 2021
Armley Grange was built in the early 19th century but previous owners Leeds City Council had deemed it surplus to requirements. The building was sold at auction in October, with a guide price of £350,000.
People unable to make the consultation event can also have their say via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.