Ashfield Park Primary School in Ross-on-Wye has been granted permission for a pivotal extension, addressing significant safety and facility concerns. The school’s planning application highlighted the limitations of its “small” reception area, which currently requires visitors to traverse the playground and offers no direct line of sight to the entrance gate, posing potential safeguarding risks.

The approved single-storey extension is meticulously designed to rectify these issues. It will feature a secure, fenced reception area, ensuring the safety of both students and staff. The school has emphasised the dual benefits of the new design, which will not only enhance security but also provide an accessible, dedicated meeting room for parents, fostering better school-parent communication.

With the reception area moving to the new extension, the existing space will undergo a transformation. The school envisions repurposing it into additional breakout rooms for students, enhancing their learning experience. There’s also potential for a wet room or physio room, catering to diverse student needs.

The town council has thrown its weight behind the project, and impressively, there were zero objections from the community. Joshua Evans, the planning officer, praised the design, pointing out that the extension, constructed with materials mirroring the existing building, would integrate seamlessly. He believes it will neither disrupt the local landscape nor detract from the area’s character.

However, the school must meet one condition set by the planning committee: to compensate for the removal of two trees, a maple and a lime, the school is mandated to undertake “compensatory planting”, ensuring the greenery of the premises remains intact.

Last month, the Gazette reported on the fact that the school received commendable ratings from the Food Standards Agency for its food hygiene practices.

The school, known for its dedication to the wellbeing of its students, received a ‘Very Good’ assessment for its hygienic food handling, which encompasses the preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling, and storage of food items. This positive feedback assures parents that their children receive meals prepared with utmost care.

Furthermore, the cleanliness and condition of the school’s facilities were rated as ‘Good’. The inspectors particularly highlighted the appropriate layout, sufficient ventilation, adequate hand washing facilities, and effective pest control measures, all of which are vital for ensuring good food hygiene.

The inspection was carried out on 30 June.