A STATE-OF-THE-ART building to serve future generations of children in Winsford has been given the final thumbs up.

Plans for a new £20m school building for the Winsford E-ACT Academy were given unanimous support when they appeared before Cheshire West and Chester Council’s strategic planning committee on Thursday.

Work on the £20m project, which will replace the current school building in Grange Lane, will begin next month and could be completed as soon as September 2013.

The design of the building has been based around the concept of a ‘community’ with the central corridor acting as a ‘street’ with glass-fronted classrooms on either side.

Pupils will also be able to enjoy a five courts sports hall, fitness suite and theatre, which will also be open to residents. Vehicle access to the school will also be changed.

The access off Joyce Avenue will be closed and the current access off Grange Lane would become the main entrance both for two way traffic for staff and visitors and for a one way drop off ‘vehicular loop’ or drop off points. Vehicles would leave the school on Nixon Drive.

Clr Don Beckett thanked residents for taking part in the consultation process and also the Winsford Town Council for their comments.

He added: “The Joyce Avenue problem has gone away. It will no longer be used for access to the school - that was the biggest problem that we had. The highways situation will be better if we can get the junctions improved.

“It would also be helpful if we are able to get the bus lane and encourage people to us buses rather than cars.

“The other important element is the entry and exits are different points so that allows the flow of traffic.”

New pedestrian controlled crossings will also be installed on the High Street, making it safer for pupils who walk to school.

Clr Helen Weltmen said: “With regard to the High Street and the rejigging of the traffic lights I think it is quite hard to cross there.

“I travel up and down that High Street quite a lot and it is difficult for students to cross over.”