PLANS to develop a new primary school on the former Nature's World site in Middlesbrough are moving a step closer.

Proposals for the new Discovery Special Academy were first unveiled last year as part of a drive to increase special educational needs provision in the town.

The free school would cater for up to 84 pupils aged four to 11 with complex and significant learning, communication, physical and medical needs.

The development – which represents investment of more than £3m – will be considered at a meeting of Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Sub-Committee for Property on Wednesday, June 13.

Councillor Jan Brunton Dobson, the council’s executive member for education and skills, will present the proposal to the Sub-Committee for Property.

She said: “The proposed Discovery Special Academy will help to reduce the need for out-of-area placements with associated transport costs, or placements in local mainstream schools that incur expensive support costs.

“It will also contribute to our wide-ranging social regeneration agenda, ensuring all those with complex learning and developmental needs have access to the education, learning experiences and qualifications they need.

"This access to the right therapies, equipment, trained staff and resources will help pupils to get the best start in life.”

The committee will consider a proposal to dispose of an unused part of the Nature’s World site adjacent to Sandy Flatts Lane so that it can be used by multi-academy trust Tees Valley Education (TVEd), the trust behind the new school.

It is proposed to open the school in temporary accommodation at Pennyman and Brambles primary academies in September 2018, with the construction due for completion in 2020.

Subject to the Executive Sub-Committee agreeing to make the site available to the school, a further report proposing its sale and outlining timescales will be presented in due course.

The meeting starts at 1pm.