Published: 13:32, 08 June 2021
| Updated: 13:35, 08 June 2021
Plans for a new school which would help 50 children with special needs have been submitted the local authority.
Swale council received proposals to turn offices at a two-storey building in Bell Road, Sittingbourne, into a new SEN school, which could open in September.
If approved, Alternative Learning Project (ALP) Schools would take over the premises and teach pupils aged seven to 19, as well as employing 32 staff.
ALP Schools only has one more site in Kent, based in Gravesend.
If approved it would become one of four special schools in Sittingbourne, after the recent openings of Aspire School, in Vellum Drive in September and Infiniti School in Doddington in October, as well as Meadowfield School in Swanstree Avenue.
Between them they would offer around 490 places for children with special needs.
ALP Sittingbourne would be open between 8.30am and 3pm on weekdays, and 11am to 4pm at the weekends.
'School should be fun and memorable where students are happy.'
It also plans to have eight one on one classroom for its pupils and eight more group classes.
The Bell Road site currently has 39 car spaces and two disabled bays located at the front and side of the building, 11 of which will be used for drop of bays, one to be provided as another disabled bay, one to be converted into a bike rack providing six cycle bays and the remaining spaces to be used by staff.
A travel plan document provided by the applicant explained how important the drop off zones were as 50% of pupils are transported to school by taxis.
If given the green light it would open at the start of the new academic year in September with Richard Johnson as the head teacher.
He said: "In exciting and fast changing times, ALP Sittingbourne will offer well rounded education as we believe this is imperative in allowing young people to achieve success through learning.
"We want to add to an already strong community by building strong relationships and serving it as best we can.
"We firmly believe that children facing the toughest challenges every day deserve the best chance to improve their life outcomes.
"Our children are lively and enthusiastic about every opportunity they are offered and this excitement empowers them to try new things and to engage with learning
"School should be fun and memorable where students are happy. ALP Sittingbourne will inspire students through providing an alternative, innovative and inclusive curriculum.
"We care about the individual and pride ourselves on ensuring our school community allows students to feel valued and achieve their best."
In 2011 an application to change part of the office into a pre-school nursery was rejected by the council for a number of reasons.
They included the fear that due to "inadequate parking provision" that parents would end up parking on the public highway and disrupt traffic while endangering road users.
Another reason for refusal was because of how close the boundary was to a set of homes. It was thought homes in nearby Bell Road, Whitehall Road and Oast Court would be affected by the "noise and disturbance" of the nursery.
This isn't a concern for the new application as no outdoor space is proposed.
View the application here, with reference 21/502367/FULL.