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New SEN School, Kempston

Wates Construction and BBC Education
Circa 2.45 hectares
Hillgrounds Road, Kempston

Over the past four years, Bedford Borough has seen an increase of 18% in the number attending SEN schools with the current number standing at approximately 370 pupils. Existing schools reached capacity in December 2019, with over 100 SEN pupils educated outside of the borough in January 2021.

The existing site constraints included the setting of a Listed Building, Urban Open Space designation and limited land available due to the proximity of the existing closed Robert Bruce School buildings, which may be subject to demolition and alternative redevelopment in due course.

The key issue regarding the restriction of the site, enabling the wider site to be utilised was overcome, avoiding the costs associated with demolition of existing buildings. There were challenges in terms of the level of staffing and their parking requirement on the proposed schools, with there being a finely judged planning balance weighted heavily in our favour due to the provision of the educational needs (Paragraph 95 NPPF).

This new facility will be one of the largest SEN facilities in the country, providing specialist care and enabling families in the local area to have their children educated closer to home.

Wates Construction and BBC Education - New SEN school Kempston

The new school will provide capacity for 200 students and subject to construction, is planned to be opened in phases from September 2024.

Bidwells has been outstanding throughout the planning process. They provided focused, expert advice, which helped us to navigate the complex post-submission process to achieve a successful outcome.
Sean Conneely - Associate Director, Pick Everard

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Mike Jones

Partner, Planning

Mike is a Chartered Town Planner with 19+ years’ experience and knowledge across an array of sectors.

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Senior Planner

Personable and professional, Natasha consistently delivers clear and comprehensive advice to her clients.

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Kate Hannelly-Brown

Kate Hannelly-Brown

Partner, Heritage and Design

A heritage consultant, architectural technician and conservation officer all rolled in to one.

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