Plans have been lodged to demolish part of a complex needs school ahead of controversial plans to move it to a new town.

Norfolk County Council has applied to itself for permission to knock down the headteacher's house building of the Fred Nicholson Complex Needs School in Dereham.

The school currently provides specialist education to 173 children with complex needs and has been based in the Toftwood area of Dereham for 50 years.

However, as part of plans to create additional specialist places in the county, education bosses are considering moving the site to a new build in Swaffham.

County Hall says the move will allow the school to be expanded to accommodate 225 pupils creating an additional 52 places.

But critics of the plan say the move could prove unsettling for pupils and question why the Toftwood site could not be expanded.

Education chiefs though have said some of the buildings at the site are not fit for purpose and the Swaffham move - which remains under consultation - was the most favourable option.

Now, plans to demolish one of the site's buildings have been lodged - although bosses say this is unrelated to the move.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: "The headteacher's house no longer has any practical use for the school and cannot be re-used for education.

"In terms of maintenance, it is a financial drain on the school’s finances.

"Its removal has no direct consequences or impact on the proposed relocation of the school to a new site.

"Some of the infrastructure, such as the relatively new boiler, are being re-used elsewhere on-site.

"The contract for the demolition work will be put out to tender."

The building, which is located off a track near the school's entrance, was built in the 1970s and was previously used as staff accommodation.