A NEW school in Greenfield for autistic children has taken its next step towards becoming reality with the submission of a planning application to Oldham Council.
The Independent exclusively revealed in October how Bright Futures School had been offered land owned by Greenfield business Robert Scott & Sons for new premises on Friezland Lane.
The school faced an uncertain future when its rented premises on Oldham Road, Grasscroft – their home since 2010 – were put up for sale in April 2018.
Proprietor Zoe Thompson subsequently found a temporary home for staff and 12 pupils, aged five to 16, at Oberlin Cottage, Greenacres.
A Christmas open day on Wednesday, December 19, including stalls, tombola and raffle, raised £200, with half donated to the Mayor of Oldham’s charities.
The festivities, however, could be the first and last at the temporary site now an application for the new building has been submitted.
“The biggest threat to the school’s future has always been security of tenure, so the new purpose-built school is a significant step forward in securing the school’s future,” said Zoe.
Under the scheme a stable block and shippon (cow sheds) will be demolished for the new school building (two phases), associated car parking and landscaping.
The site is 0.39 hectares (0.98 acres) in area and was part of Springfield Farm in the past but the land has been split into parcels over the years.
If the build is successful, the school will employ nine full-time and nine part-time staff.
Under proposals, the number of parking spaces will rise from 15 to 24 with the additional inclusion of three extra disability spots.
The potential opening hours for the new Bright Futures school will be from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
The full application can be viewed online at www.planning.oldham.gov.uk using planning reference PA/342624/18.