Costessey school bids for extra classrooms to cope with rising pupil numbers

Officials have warned a school serving an expanding housing estate will run out of space for pupils if extra classrooms are not built.

Proposals to expand Queen's Hill Primary and Nursery School, in Costessey, to accommodate up to 60 more children, are before planners at Norfolk County Council.

The aim of the applicant, the council's children's services department, is to create two extra classrooms by extending the school over a section of land it currently uses as a play area. If approved, the construction work is expected to take place during term and holiday time and be completed by autumn/winter 2013.

Two additional full-time equivalent (FTE) staff would also need to be appointed.

The planning documents state: 'The school was completed in 2008 before the estate was finished and began with just 28 children. The popularity of the estate has continued to grow since 2008 and recent demand in the area has highlighted a need to consider the expansion of the existing building. Children's services has identified that without additional class base provision there will quickly become a shortfall in spaces at the school (as new housing in the Queen's Hills development continues to be constructed).'

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The school in Fieldfare Way currently has 315 pupils, 31 FTE staff, 11 classrooms and 42 car parking spaces. Four extra spaces for cars are included in the plans.

People have until January 8 to have their say on the plans. Costessey Parish Council has asked the county council to extend the consultation by two days.

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Clerk Hilary Elias, left, in a letter to the county council, said she had not received the plans and their next meeting is not until the evening of January 8.

The extra school places would be for key stage two children – aged between seven and 11. As reported in June, there are 52 spaces at the school's nursery and nine children who live on the estate missed out this year.

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