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Axis Academy

Crewe

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The Axis Academy is a new SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) school in Crewe for 40 pupils. The academy is built on the brownfield site of the former Lodgefields Community primary school, which closed in 2007.

The Brief

Cheshire East Council has identified the need for additional special school places within the borough to enable the needs of pupils to be met locally. The proposed SEND free school for up to 40 children will be delivered by the Department for Education, and operated by YES Trust. The DfE design process has provided a framework for strong collaborative approach throughout the development of this project. Client engagement meetings and the advice of planners have ensured the design has been rigorous and well tested.

The Design

The proposed new building will provide modern learning environments. The design responds to a series of tight site constraints: through the design process, a two storey option was developed which enables the classroom provision to be accommodated on the site within the footprint of the former Lodgefields school, and whilst maintaining 10m clearance from the boundary, and accommodating the path of the 1200mm sewer.

The approach is set out to provide an efficient, functional, and safe school environment that meets the educational requirements of the new build brown-field development. The external appearance of the new building is purposefully simple with a red brick envelope to the ground floor, and white render to the first floor. This reflects local residential aesthetic, as well as utilising robust materials.

The Outcome

The Axis Academy gained planning approval at committee in August 2019 with councillors voting unanimously in favour of the application. The school is scheduled to open September 2020.

‘Fabulous development on an absolutely appropriate site’ - local councillor commenting at planning committee

‘I’m planning terms, it’s spot on’ - local councillor commenting at planning committee