Plans for a new secondary school in Reading go before councillors on Wednesday (June 1) with a recommendation for approval.

The River Academy is earmarked for a 5.5-hectare council-owned site in Richfield Avenue between the Reading Festival site and Rivermead Leisure Centre.

The site, which was used for landfill in the 1970s, was formerly the Leaderboard Golf driving range but has been vacant for a number of  years.

The application, lodged by developer Bowmer & Kirkland on behalf of the Department for Education, via Nexus Planning, proposes a 1,500-capacity eight-form entry school which includes a special education needs and disability (SEND) unit and 300 place six form. It will be operated by the Maiden Erlegh Trust which runs sixth other schools locally.

Hard and soft landscaping is proposed throughout the site and sports facilities include a four-court multi-use games area (MUGA) and various provision for football, cricket and athletics on the playing fields.

Reading Borough Council’s planning applications committee has been recommended to approve the scheme provided a s106 agreement is agreed by June 30. Among the requirements is a tiger crossing on Richfield Avenue.

The team on the project includes Jestico + Whiles Associates as architect and Ares as landscape architect.

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