THE construction of a much-anticipated new special education facility in Barrow has moved a step closer.

Cumbria County Council was granted conditional permission by Barrow Borough Council to build a 40-place Alternative Provision school on derelict land on Channelside which would cater to children with social, emotional, and mental health needs.

CCC has now submitted the documents outlining fulfilment of the conditions, including a construction method statement by building contractors Roland Hill Ltd, which states:  "The manufacturing process will commence many weeks in advance of starting works on-site at Channelside. 

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"However, it is expected that works on site will commence during the Autumn of 2022. 

The Mail: The land is currently derelictThe land is currently derelict

"Completion on-site and handover of the building is likely to be during the summer of 2023."

A crime prevention strategy document was also submitted indicating that the rear of the building will be enclosed by security fencing at least 2.1 metres tall, with two gates that can only be operated by electronic magnetic locks.

The document also provides a full plan of internal and external CCTV coverage and lighting.

Regarding door locks, it says: "All the public external doors will be controlled by electronic access controls. 

"This means that they cannot be opened without a suitable pass or being operated from inside the building. 

"Both these doors and any others, not covered by electronic access controls, will also be fitted with Euro cylinder locks. 

"This means that when the building is unoccupied all the doors can be deadlocked securely."

A report originally outlining the proposal stated: "The Alternative Provision Unit will work in conjunction with the Pupil Referral Unit located in Barrow and will accommodate up to 40 pupils, comprising 25 young people with Social, Emotional and Mental Health diagnosis, who would otherwise go on to be educated in independent settings, and 15 young people who would be awaiting specific diagnosis and unable to access the school curriculum in mainstream schools. 

"The key aims of the project are to educate children close to or within their communities and reduce exclusions, both fixed and permanent."

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