Council looks to buy land at Queen’s Hills to cope with rising pupil numbers at primary school

Council bosses are looking to buy land on a housing estate to cope with rising pupils numbers at an expanding primary school.

Queen's Hill Primary School, which is nearing capacity, will have to cope with extra children, after a planning application was approved on August 15 to build 142 more homes at the housing estate.

South Norfolk Council's development management committee agreed to Taylor Wimpey's application to build the homes, and deferred an application by Bovis for another 115 homes.

Norfolk County Council said it was now looking at purchasing land, which could include a plot to the south of the school site, which was once earmarked for community facilities at Queen's Hills.

The land is owned by developer Albemarle 5 LLP and their spokesman said: 'We would happily talk to the council about the potential sale of the site, but we have not received any approaches yet.'

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It follows fears that the school would have to expand onto its playground to meet the demand for new classrooms from the homes being built.

Norfolk County councillor for Costessey Tim East, below, said: 'I had concerns because there did not seem to be any room for the school to expand on site.

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'I established at the planning meeting in August that the plans for the boarded-off area had expired and, once we established the ownership of the land, we could suggest that land should be used for the expansion rather than expanding within the school's grounds.'

The primary school will be expanded to provide 420 pupil places, with further growth expected in the future.

A county council spokeswoman confirmed officers were now investigating the possible purchases of land around the estate.

She said the county council's proposals to expand would not impact on the playground.

Developer Taylor Wimpey and Bovis Homes will have to pay over �1m to help the school's expansion through section 106 money.

Bovis Homes' plans to build 115 homes at Queen's Hills were deferred at the meeting on August 15, because of concerns over the design of the three-storey homes.

Do you have a story about Costessey for the Evening News? Contact reporter Tom Bristow on 01603772313 or email

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