Diocese of Durham



Project Value



Watson Batty Architects



Project Brief

The project delivered a steel framed two storey new build primary school with three sets of external stairways linking the school between spilt levels. New external space was created and included a new full sized main sports pitch. The site was formerly an agricultural greenfield site which had no mains services, infrastructure or vehicular access. The project was delivered for the Diocese of Durham and funded by the EFSA.


The sloping nature of the site presented a challenge. The cost saving solution involved the creation of a semi basement with a significant retaining wall and ground bearing slab.

The design of the school was unusual, with the main entrance located on the top floor. This design had two main benefits; it worked well with the topography of the site and it also minimised the visual impact of the building from the neighbouring housing development.

Adept engineers modelled the existing surface based on topographic information, using Civils 3D to perform a cut and fill exercise. This enabled the site to achieve a balanced cut and fill. Due to extent of the landscaping work, we were able to re-use the top soil from the site strip for the sport pitch construction, therefore reducing cost of disposal and minimising vehicle movements off site.

Liaising with the Highways Agency and contractor, we calculated a suitable finished floor level for the building and the external areas including car park and sports pitch. We suggested and introduced permeable paving for the car parking area to enable the utilisation of a SUDS element on site that retains the first 5mm of rainfall.
The sports pitch is a specialist design, however we liaised with Sports England and had extensive discussions with the council regarding the suitable outfall arrangement and how we manage the potential exceedance flow from site. This required close liaison with Northumbrian Water and Stockton Council.