Boclair Academy Redevelopment

Our Scotland planning and community engagement team gained planning permission for this new £40.9m, state-of-the-art Secondary School at Boclair Academy, Bearsden (29 September 2020). Our team were part of a large project team led by contractors McLaughlin and Harvey – on behalf of East Dunbartonshire Council’s (EDC) Major Asset Team who have been tasked with delivering the Local Authority’s key capital projects.

The project, provided some challenges along the way, including consideration of adjacent residential properties, the practicalities of the existing school remaining open during construction, and the need to consider how the large areas of outdoor spaces would work best for the school staff and pupils.

OUR SUCCESSFUL WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH EDC’S PLANNING DEPARTMENT AND EXTENSIVE STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT ENABLED US TO ADDRESS THESE CHALLENGES AND SEE THE APPLICATION APPROVED WITHIN FIVE MONTHS OF THE APPLICATION BEING SUBMITTED AND DURING LOCKDOWN. AS A FORMER BOCLAIR ACADEMY PUPIL, I AM DELIGHTED TO HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE DELIVERY OF THIS FANTASTIC NEW EDUCATION FACILITY FOR THE PUPILS, STAFF AND WIDER SCHOOL COMMUNITY.

Christine Dalziel, Associate Planner

The new school has been designed to maximise the use of flexible space to provide learning environments outside the formal classroom space and external landscape for 1050 pupils.

The new Academy will replace the existing five-storey building with a two-storey building set within the landscape with a glazed box set atop the north east corner of the building which will house the art department.

The Lower Ground Floor will incorporate numerous spaces with direct connections to the exterior landscape including the large, open plan spaces such as the sports hall and gymnasium and the Ground Floor Level will serve as the primary entrance level and offer numerous breakout spaces and staff facilities, as well as more structured teaching spaces.

Project Details

  • Two-storey £40.9m state-of-the-art Secondary School
  • Flexible space to provide learning environments for 1050 pupils
  • Numerous breakout spaces and staff facilities
  • Sports hall and gymnasium

The development will deliver a range of benefits including:

• Delivering the redevelopment of an ageing school and will ensure that a major capital project is progressed, in line with local and national aspirations, utilising previously developed land within settlement boundaries in accordance with Scottish Planning Policy.

• The provision of a new purpose-built secondary school to deliver an improved educational facility and associated sport provision to the benefit of the wider community.

• Benefits from a high-quality design to enhance the user experience both internally and externally.

• Will deliver a state-of-the art education facility to replace the current school building, which is not fit for modern teaching practices.

• Include sufficient car parking, provided to cater for the needs of future users, whilst avoiding unacceptable impacts on the surrounding road network and vastly improving the existing traffic impact on adjacent streets during peak hours.

• Is of a design, scale and massing which will complement and enhance the setting and character of the surrounding area and takes cognisance of the sites location on the urban edge, adjacent to the greenbelt.

The existing 1976 building will remain operational during the construction of the new school facility. Work commenced in January 2021 just eight months after the application was lodged. Once the pupils have transferred into the new building, work will commence on the demolition of the existing structure and the extensive landscaping works will be completed.

This is one of three projects our Scotland team have/are working on at present for East Dunbartonshire Council’s (EDC) Major Asset Team.