Plans to build a new primary school for 630 pupils in Peterborough have taken a major step forward.
The £6.5 million school is to be built on a 0.8 hectare plot of land, which was part of the former Peterborough District Hospital site, in Thorpe Road.
The plot was officially handed over to Peterborough City Council by representatives of Lands Improvement, the strategic land development company, which is preparing the former hospital site for homes development.
The school land was handed over under a section 106 agreement, set by the council as part of its planning approval for the development.
The three form entry primary school will be built in the south east corner of the site and it will include the historic Memorial Wing, which is the remains of the 1920s-built Memorial Hospital.
Councillor John Holdich, the council’s cabinet member responsible for education, said: “We have ambitious plans to build a new primary school on the site of the former Peterborough District Hospital.
“We are committed to make sure every child in Peterborough receives a first class education and this new school will help us provide much need extra primary school places.
“Thanks to the fantastic progress Lands Improvement has made in clearing the site our plans will soon become a reality.”
The school is expected to cost up to £6.5 million and will be paid for by the Government under its priority school building programme. However, the council will spend £500,000 integrating the Memorial Wing into the school building.
The school will replace the current West Town Primary School and is expected to open in September 2016. It will have 90 pupils in each year, which is double the number at West Town Primary.
This is a real achievement and an important milestone.Kevin Moriarty, managing director of Lands Improvement.
The hospital site was sold for £7.7 million two years ago by the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to Lands Improvement.
The sale came three years after the district hospital closed following the construction of the £289-million Peterborough City Hospital, in Bretton.
Once the former hospital is demolished work will start to build up to 350 homes of various types and sizes. There will also be some green open space.
So far all of the former hospital buildings have now been stripped internally, which includes the removal of doors, windows and floors.
The former eight storey Nurses’ Accommodation block has also been demolished along with a number of other smaller buildings.
Demolition of the Maternity Unit will be continuing over the coming weeks, followed by demolition of the main hospital building currently planned for July.
The Memorial Wing, The Gables and 60-62 Thorpe Road will be retained and restored.
Managing director of Lands Improvement, Kevin Moriarty, said: “We are pleased with the significant progress we have made on the Former District Hospital.
“Working with the council and many key local stakeholders, within 18 months of acquiring the site we have submitted a planning application, achieved planning consent, carried out significant demolition works and handed over land ready for a new primary school to be built.
“This is a real achievement and an important milestone and we thank all those who have been involved.
“We appreciate the importance of this gateway site to Peterborough and are committed to delivering a high quality development that the city can be proud of.”
A spokeswoman for Lands Improvement said the firm was ensuring that the most current and effective demolition methods are used onsite.
The demolition is constantly monitored with mitigation measures in place to reduce the impact on the local area.
Where possible materials from the existing buildings will be reused and recycled.
The construction of new homes onsite is expected to start in 2016.