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Persimmon Homes

Persimmon Spearheads Primary School Delivery

18 October 2011

Hundreds of children across the UK are benefiting from a new, self-financing scheme that delivers brand new primary schools at significantly lower costs through the residential re-development of existing schools.

Housebuilder Persimmon Homes, working in conjunction with Bristol-based architects, Stride Treglown, has designed a model two-form entry primary school, initially borne out of its obligation to meet Section 106 Agreements.

Persimmon has already completed seven, two form entry primary schools delivered on large volume new home schemes in Wiltshire, Devon and Berkshire. The facilities were constructed in as little as 40 weeks for circa £3m as part of a standard design and build turnkey package, and such has been the success that a further six further sites are being considered in an expanding geographical area covering sites from South Devon to Essex.

The scheme, described as a self-financing, one-stop-shop, bases the overall design on a butterfly arrangement where two school wings are set astride a central hub which incorporates shared resources, group areas, administrative and cloakroom facilities with the centrally placed hall, associated kitchen and support services situated between the wings. The model school can accommodate up to 420 pupils and nursery however, if a single form entry for 210 pupils is required, a single wing can be provided. Where appropriate, the building is positioned to allow a second wing to be added at a later date.

Each classroom wing is accessed through a central, oversized, corridor, designed to provide space for informal learning. Large internal windows bring light into the rear of the classrooms from the top lit corridor and provide vision into adjacent windows to allow the learning process to be seen from one room to another.

Whilst the schools are recognisable as a variant of the standard design with its curved plan, raking rooflines and large windows, external wall materials can be chosen to suit local aesthetics and surroundings.

David Thornton, central divisional chief executive for Persimmon Homes, comments: “Our provision of primary schools has gathered momentum year-on-year because of three key reasons; we can deliver them quickly, our package is highly cost effective, indeed current construction costs are in the region of just £1,500 per sq metre, and because we have a design efficient model that involves a dedicated team of construction professionals.

“We use the same team of designers, architects, contractors and quantity surveyors to deliver the schools to ensure consistency but most importantly to provide the quickest and most cost-effective solution. We have also identified opportunities to further reduce costs by up to an additional ten per cent - by exploiting procurement efficiencies, we are able to construct a school which effectively costs the same as it did ten years ago, pre changes relating to building regulations which increased expenditure significantly.

“Having witnessed other school schemes being characterised by massive overspends and tragic delays, we are pleased to be able to offer this highly effective alternative without bureaucratic red tape.”

The design meets the revised area requirements of BB99 and environmental principles set under BREEAM.

For further information on Persimmon’s new school delivery project, please call David Thornton on 01604 884600 or Nick Scregg on 01276 808080.

About Section 106

Section 106 allows for Local Planning Authorities and persons interested in land to agree contributions, arrangements and restrictions as Planning Agreements or Planning Obligations. Applicants can offer such agreements unilaterally or negotiate and agree them as support for their application to make it accord with local planning requirements, but without some of the rigorous controls of Planning Conditions. It relates to monies paid by developers to Local Planning Authorities in order to offset the costs of the external effects of development.


BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is the world's most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. BREEAM assesses buildings against a set criteria and provides an overall score which will fall within a band providing either a; PASS, GOOD, VERY GOOD, EXCELLENT or OUTSTANDING rating.

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