Charles Darwin Primary free school will open near Norwich’s clubland

Charles Darwin Primary principal Jo Brown at Charles House, Rose Lane, Norwich.The new primary schoo

Charles Darwin Primary principal Jo Brown at Charles House, Rose Lane, Norwich.The new primary school will open at the site in September 2016. - Credit: Archant

Norwich's newest primary school will be housed in office buildings near the heart of the city's clubland.

The Charles Darwin Primary School and Nursery, a free school due to be opened by the Inspiration Trust in September, will be based in Charles House and Wensum House, on Rose Lane.

Shops on the ground floor, which open on to Prince of Wales Road, will remain, while space currently used as offices will be 'substantially refurbished' in the coming months to provide classrooms, a library, multi-use hall and play areas.

The location is near Norwich train station and a new multi-storey car park, and the school is due to open with a nursery of around 30 places, and reception and Year 1 classes with up to 30 children each.

Prospective parents were told about the location yesterday afternoon, and Charles Darwin principal Jo Brown said: 'We are delighted to have secured such a fantastic location for the school.

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'The design and size of the buildings gives us lots of flexibility.'

A spokesman for the Inspiration Trust said the school may sometimes use the Hewett Academy, which Inspiration took over in September, for sports, but the plan was to make a double-height hall on the site.

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But Emma Corlett, vice- chairman of the Children's Services Committee on Norfolk County Council, said: 'To me, it seems like quite an unusual choice of location for a primary school, and I would be quite concerned about how much outdoor space there is there.'

Prince of Wales Road is home to a number of nightclubs, and she added: 'I used to cycle down that area and there was quite often a lot of sick on the pavement and rubbish that was being cleared up. I would want to know that all the street cleaning will have taken place before the children are walking to school.'

A spokesman for the Inspiration Trust said the nightclubs would not be operating at the same time as the school.

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