New free school on its way to Norwich after planners give it the go-ahead

Sewell Park Academy, Norwich. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Sewell Park Academy, Norwich. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A new primary school for hundreds of Norwich pupils will become a reality after it was given the green light by planners.

Norwich City Council has said the Right for Success trust can build St Clements Hill Primary Academy on land at Sewell Park Academy, on Wall Road.

The free school is planned to open in September 2018 and will eventually house 420 children, with 14 new classrooms, a hall and studio space, reception, kitchen, food science room, staff rooms, play areas and toilets built on site.

Though part of the land is currently used as playing fields, plans have, documents say, been designed so 'existing playing fields to the east and west can be retained'.

A consultation is now ongoing to give parents and the local community the chance to have their say on the plans and how the school develops, which will run until October 27.

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Valerie Moore, chief executive of Right for Success, which also runs Eaton Hall Specialist Academy and Stalham Academy, said: 'We are absolutely delighted that the planning permission has been granted for the new free school. It is a fantastic opportunity for the young people in the local area to attend a brand new school with the space and facilities that it brings. Over the next year we will try our utmost to keep regular updates posted on the academy's website.'

Planners gave the approval with several conditions, including that use of the school must not begin until a community use agreement, prepared with Sport England, has been prepared, laying out when and how the public can use sporting facilities on site.

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In their initial application to run the free school, the trust said there would be a need for places in the area, with many of the area's feeder schools reaching capacity.

They said figures had shown a drift of pupils out of the area to attend schools elsewhere in Norwich, because of a lack of primary places. There is expected to be a boom in the number of primary-age children entering schools in the coming years nationally, with north-east Norwich identified as a key growth area locally.

A public meeting will be held with the local community and parents to talk about the building work and proposals for the school on Wednesday, October 11, from 4.30pm to 6.30pm at the sports pavilion building.

To have your say on the new school, or to find out more, click here.

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