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Councillors to vote on £1.2m payout for land for new special school

PUBLISHED: 14:45 02 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:45 02 October 2019

Easton College, outside Norwich. Norfolk County Council is proposing to purchase land near the college site to build a new specialist school. Picture: Mike Page

Easton College, outside Norwich. Norfolk County Council is proposing to purchase land near the college site to build a new specialist school. Picture: Mike Page

© Mike Page all rights reserved. Before any use is made of this image including display, publication, broadcast, syndication or

A council is planning to shell out more than £1m to secure a site for a new special needs school for Norfolk.

John Fisher, cabinet member for children's services at Norfolk County Council. Photo: Broadland District CouncilJohn Fisher, cabinet member for children's services at Norfolk County Council. Photo: Broadland District Council

Documents released by Norfolk County Council show land in Easton near Norwich has been set aside for the school - one of up to four planned as part of a £120m investment in special needs and disabilities education in the county.

The cabinet papers say the council has "negotiated terms" with Easton and Otley College to buy the 6.4 acre site east of Bawburgh Road for £1.21m.

The deal also included a licence to carry out construction works.

It will be funded from the council's capital programme, which covers expenditure on longer term projects and infrastructure.

The document says the acquisition followed a "comprehensive search for a site west of Norwich" and that the process of finding a sponsor for the new school was under way.

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The Easton school would support 170 children with a range of special educational needs and would include an 18-place base for children with autism and learning difficulties.

John Fisher, cabinet member for children's service at Norfolk County Council, said the new school would ensure special needs provision in key areas of the county along with others already announced in Fakenham and on the former Alderman Swindell site in Great Yarmouth.

"Our significant investment in this area shows our absolute commitment to getting the best education for children with special educational needs and disabilities in our county," he said.

Margaret Dewsbury, county councillor for Easton, added: "A new special school will help to reduce travel times for children with complex needs and give them the education they deserve closer to their homes, their friends and family."

A spokesman for Easton and Otley College said: "The college is currently in negotiations with Norfolk County Council to sell a piece of land, around six acres in size.

"Early proposals suggest that this site will become the home for a new school."

Members of Norfolk County Council's cabinet will be asked to vote to authorise the purchase of the land in Easton at their next meeting on Monday, October 7.

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