October 22 2014 Latest news:
by DAN GRIMMER
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Plans to build a new primary school in Wymondham are on the brink of being scrapped, but education bosses have pledged another school in the town will be extended instead.
Robert Kett Junior School is likely to benefit from a proposal to abandon plans for a primary school at Harts Farm.
Seven years ago, when permission was granted for the Harts Farm development, a site on Blackthorn Road was set aside for a school.
But, at 0.81 hectares, the site is now too small for a school according to guidelines which have come into place since the agreement was first signed.
Therefore, the county council has said it does not need the site for a school and the authority’s cabinet agreed on Monday that South Norfolk Council, which owns the land, should be urged to sell it on the open market.
The money raised from that sale would be pumped into expanding Robert Kett Junior School, which has grown to cater for 610 pupils because of a recent spate of new homes being built in Wymondham.
After consultation with headteachers, it was agreed that the money should be used to create a multi-use hall at the the Hewitts Lane school.
The site at Blackthorn Road is likely to end up being sold to developers who will want to build more homes there.
It is likely that up to 40 homes could be built on that land, with a mix of two, three and four bedroom properties.
There has been consultation with families on the Harts Farm development, with details of the proposal sent to around 700 homes.
Sixteen written responses were received, with two in support of the proposal and others raising concern over issues such as the impact of further house building on people already living in the area.
But, at yesterday’s county council cabinet meeting, Joe Mooney, county councillor for Wymondham, said it was a “no-brainer” that the best option was to get South Norfolk Council to sell the site so the money could go towards the Robert Kett Junior School project.
He said: “If we went for the other option, the site would go back to the developer and would not generate any money at all for schools in Wymondham.”
Alison Thomas, cabinet member for children’s services, agreed: “What we don’t want to see is this money not being used for education in Wymondham.”
A planning application for the new sports hall at Robert Kett Junior School is likely to be submitted early next year, along with one for housing at the Blackthorn Road site.