School’s rooftop playground would be a ‘recipe for disaster’ claim planning officers

The Birmingham Mail is reporting that local councillors have rejected plans which included proposals for a rooftop school playground – labelling it a ‘recipe for disaster’.

Planning committee members feared children could tumble from the play area above a two-storey section of the proposed Perry Beeches Primary School at Bath Row, on the Attwood Green estate.

Councillors also voted down the plans because they believe the 700 place school would cause traffic problems as parents drop-off pupils and could cause a noise nuisance for elderly residents of nearby bungalows.

The application was to demolish the derelict Colton Health Centre and build a primary school, five-storeys at the front, with a large two-storey rear building. It would be next to the existing Perry Beeches III secondary school . 

It would have been the latest addition to the growing Perry Beeches chain of academies and free schools led by ‘superhead’ Liam Nolan. 

West Midlands Police objected over parking and traffic congestion, while the nearby St Thomas CE Primary School said it has spare capacity for pupils.

Planning committee member Coun Gareth Moore (Cons, Erdington) said: “This is incredibly large for a primary school. Having 700 children playing on top of a building is a recipe for disaster, no matter how well fenced off it is.

“And the parking is not suitable. We already have a secondary school at full capacity.”

Having been told that he had mistaken the height of the playground, he snapped: “So there will be less of a splat falling from two storeys…”

More at: Perry Beeches school plan blocked over rooftop playground safety fears


Obviously there were a number of reasons for rejecting this proposal, but do you think planners are going to have to become a bit more innovative as we struggle with the need for more schools – including outdoor space – with very little city centre land available to build them on?

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Categories: Local authorities and Primary.


  1. WendyC116

    SchoolsImprove we have a rooftop pitch at my school, which also boasts 700 on roll. You’d never know we had 700: works perfectly for us

  2. samflatman

    SchoolsImprove can’t believe they have denied the children more space to play! #rooftop playgrounds are common place in #London

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