New building to replace temporary classrooms

"Dilapidated" 20-year-old temporary classrooms at a sixth-form college in West Yorkshire are to be replaced with a new building.

Wakefield Council has approved plans for the new teaching block at Pontefract New College.

Portable buildings have been used at the college’s H Block for two decades, despite the original plan to use them for just three years.

A council report said the temporary buildings had reached the point where further repairs would be "uneconomical".

More than 2,000 students attend the college each day during the academic year.

The plan includes a permanent building of a similar size to the temporary structure, containing four classrooms.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the report said: “There is a genuine need to replace a dilapidated existing building to ensure the college can continue to provide the high level of education from buildings that are designed to enhance the education experience of students.”

The council approved the application despite the building being in a greenbelt area.

The college said the site had been in continuous educational use since 1910 and was established before the council formed its greenbelt policy boundary.

A planning officer’s report said the new building would “result in limited harm” to the surrounding area.