PLANS for a multi-million pound expansion of Ilkley Grammar School have been submitted to Bradford Council's planning department.

Last December Bradford Council agreed a major capital investment of £4.7million to expand the current site of the school in Cowpasture Road to enable it to cope with a rising demand for secondary school places in the Wharfe Valley.

Forecasts show Ilkley Grammar School could have a shortfall of 118 places by 2020. The proposed expansion will allow the school to increase its intake of students from 261 to 300 a year from September 2019, for which funding has been approved. The school currently has capacity for 1,558 pupils, including its sixth form provision.

The school is now seeking permission to build a new three storey teaching block with 15 classrooms, dining and flexible learning space including ancillary support and service areas.

The application also includes the removal of three existing temporary classroom blocks and the reinstatement of a former car park area with 13 spaces and demolition of Block 10. The proposed site for the additional teaching and learning facilities is currently occupied by a multi use games area in the north-east corner of the school campus. The site for the additional car parking spaces is in the north-west of the school’s main vehicle entrance, which is currently occupied by two temporary classrooms.

A design and access statement submitted to the planning department says: "The scale, height and massing has been kept to minimum, so as to minimise the visual impact of the proposals within the school campus’ built environment and natural topography.

"A rectilinear built form was deemed the most suitable for both the client’s requirements and the overall site planning, which would be articulated as necessary, to suit the environmental opportunities and constraints previously identified.

"The overall massing of the building has also been carefully considered within the wider site context by limiting the height to three storeys so as to be sympathetic to the wider built environment of Ilkley."

The plans were first unveiled at a public drop-in session at the school earlier this month attended by over 60 people. Various comments were made, both positive and negative. Many expressed concern about additional pupil numbers increasing traffic and many felt the site was already overdeveloped and an alternative site for the school should be considered.

Following the consultation various amendments were made. These include: an amended floor plan to incorporate separate staff toilets; a passive solar screening system to the south elevation; a natural stone material was specified; a full traffic impact assessment commissioned and a grey roof covering adopted.

Councillor Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s executive member for education, employment and skills said: “The expansion of Ilkley Grammar School will ensure that it can meet the local demand for more places, taking on more children between the ages of 11 and 16."

The full planning application (reference number 17/06904/MAF) can be viewed online at