Council raises its ‘grave concerns’ over £10m school rebuild in Old Buckenham

Parents see the plans for the new Chapel Road School.

Parents see the plans for the new Chapel Road School. - Credit: Archant

A councillor has raised 'grave concerns' over plans for a £10m rebuild of a complex needs school in Old Buckenham.

Artist's impressions of what the new Chapel Road School might look like.

Artist's impressions of what the new Chapel Road School might look like. - Credit: Archant

Chapel Road School, which is currently in Attleborough, could be set to move to the nearby village if the application is approved.

The project would allow for much-needed facilities at the school and would expand its 60-pupil limit to 110.

But the potential influx of traffic and risks associated with a junction near to the school's entrance has caused concern for Old Buckenham Parish Council.

Steve Milner, parish councillor, said: 'The general feeling is that we support the school coming to Old Buckenham but our great concern is the increase in traffic.'


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He estimated that the school would bring a 14pc rise in traffic to the village.

A junction near to the school, which would see school minibuses forced to turn off a 30mph lane into traffic travelling at 60mph, has also left the council 'extremely frustrated'.

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'We have suggested moving the 30mph stretch 100m up the road towards Attleborough, so the bus won't have to change speed, but we have heard nothing,' Mr Milner said.

He added: 'People in Old Buckenham are really agitated – both about the safety and the traffic. I think it will be a beautiful school and an excellent facility, but there is more that needs to be looked at.'

Karin Heap, headteacher of Chapel Road School, insisted that the plans had received a positive reaction from the community at public consultations held in June.

'People have their worries, which is understandable – there is something new coming into their village.

'But overall they seem positive and are really excited. The pupils were all planning which classroom they would be in. Everyone knows how great this will be for the school,' she said.

Norfolk County Council has already committed £4m to the project, with the Department for Education contributing £3.8m and a further £2.2m coming from the council in capital funding.

What do you think of the councillor's concerns? Contact reporter Laurenn Cope on Lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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