Bradford Council Approve Solution To An Unusual Problem At Primary School

Knowleswood Primary School - Courtesy of Google Maps.

The problem stems from the school being built on an old landfill site.

A primary school will finally have better access to its facilities after plans to deal with an unusual problem were approved.

Areas of Knowleswood Primary School in Holme Wood had to be fenced off in 2016 after glass and other sharp objects were found on the grass.

However, the dangerous items weren’t dropped their by people littering – they rose from beneath the ground.

The school is built on a former landfill area, and after areas of the school’s grounds were fenced off, work was done to work out the best way to prevent landfill waste from rising to the surface again.

Last May a report was compiled detailing the best way to deal with the bizarre situation.

Now a new planning application to try and fix the problem has been approved by Bradford Council.

Rather than dig up the site and remove years of buried waste, the report suggested two layers of washed gravel placed above and below a “geotextile sheet” on the 1.04 hectare site.

This would allow gasses to safely rise from the former landfill, but prevent items like glass and dangerous waste rising up and contaminating the land.

It will also allow grass to grow above the sheet, meaning the land can once again be used as a regular school playing field.

And with more of the site now accessible, new sports facilities will be built on the grounds.

These include two five a side football pitches with fixed goals and a 200m running track laid out around the two football pitches.

A multi-use ball court with three metre high steel fencing and tarmac surface will be constructed to the north of the existing playground, which will provide all weather facilities for football, basketball and a number of other sports.

To the south of the school building an existing play area will be resurfaced with block paving and safety surfacing. An existing metal play unit and log climbing structure will be retained but other items will be removed.

And a new orchard with fruit trees will be planted, creating a new environment. The application said: “These will be under planted with a native wildflower meadow to increase biodiversity. Together the trees and wildflower will be particularly attractive to pollinating insects whilst also providing an opportunity for outdoor teaching.”

All the outdoor facilities were approved as part of the same planning application.

The application documents said the fencing off of such a large area of the school’s grounds had impacted pupils’ education and ability to enjoy their school grounds.

It said: “The majority of the school grounds were fenced off and have not been used since. The only outside areas currently available for school activities are a large tarmac playground and two smaller areas of tarmac hard standing.

“This has had a detrimental effect on the quality of the school environment and the range of activities available to pupils.”

The school’s facilities are an important green areas in the mainly urban Holme Wood estate, and the application says these works will “allow the full site area to be opened up for various sporting and educational uses as appropriate for a primary school” and “to maximise the use of the site for educational purposes.

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